The Gospel of Luke

The Gospel of Luke

A Transcript of James Battell’s Verse-By-Verse King James Bible Study

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuHLrGZuLQw

CHAPTER 1

Okay, please open your Bibles to the Gospel of Luke. Four gospels written by eyewitnesses to the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ! Matthew, of course, was an eyewitness. John was an eyewitness. Mark came later in the ministry of the Lord Jesus, whereas Luke (I believe) was one of the 70 that followed the Lord all of His life, and Luke’s gospel is the largest book in the New Testament.

A very special book because Luke was a physician, and Dr Luke is very interested in Mary, not only for the fact that she was a young lady who gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ. And I date ‒ or I should say I age ‒ Mary between 12 to 15 when she gave birth to the Lord Jesus, but I put her nearer to 15 than she would have been to 12.

He’s going to trace Mary’s genealogy back to the first man, Adam, and I will discuss that when I get to the latter chapters.

But for this special recording for End Times Coming radio, I want to start, if I may, in Luke chapter 1. Always start at the very beginning and as always, this will be a very simple verse-by-verse Bible study, taken directly from the King James Bible. I have no notes and above all, I hope that this recording, this broadcast will be a blessing to anybody that should hear it. But above all, I hope you are listening along with me with your King James Bibles open.

Luke chapter 1, let’s start, if we may, in verse 1.

Chapter 1, verses 1-4: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”

In verse 1, he says many have taken in hand to write down things which have occurred, in reference, I believe, to Matthew, Mark, John, the Pauline epistles and the rest of the New Testament.

Luke’s gospel was written about 70 AD after Peter and Paul had died, but before John had written his gospel.

What we can say for sure is that nothing was written which would have been inspired by the Lord and subsequently lost. The Lord wouldn’t inspire something to later be lost.

Yes, it’s possible that people wrote down what they saw and heard about the Lord Jesus Christ after He died, of course, but their writings were not inspired. Everything that we have in the word of God has been inspired and preserved. But above all, Luke is focusing (I believe) on Matthew’s gospel, written about 40 A.D., Mark’s gospel, written about 60 A.D., the Pauline epistles, all written pre-65 A.D., and of course John would be writing his gospel, and his epistles, and the Book of Revelation much later.

But Luke says in verse 2 and 3 how he had perfect understanding of all of these things because he was (I believe) one of the 70. And he says that from the beginning (verse 2) they had received the message from the Lord Jesus Christ through eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word, meaning the apostles, of course. The apostles wrote down what they saw and heard, they were commissioned to do so. And Luke, as one of the 70, was also an eyewitness. He saw everything from the very beginning, and therefore he was qualified to write down what he saw.

Unlike the Qur’an, written by one man, the New Testament was written by many authors living on different continents over a period of many different years. The entire Bible has been written by about 40 authors, living on 3 continents, over 1600 years apart. So, collusion is totally impossible.

But the New Testament primarily was written by eyewitnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. And you can trust it totally and without any concern whatsoever.

Theophilus was obviously a very important person to have this gospel written to him. No doubt, he had come to hear of the Lord Jesus and wanted to know more about the God-Man, Christ Jesus. And Dr Luke, as I say, was a physician who addressed this wonderful piece of writing to him, and we are told by the Greek scholars that Luke is the richest in all of the Greek writers of the New Testament.

Chapter 1, verses 5-6: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”

They weren’t sinless; they were blameless. They had spotless testimonies. The law is given to sinners to point them back to the Saviour. This elderly couple were very godly and they had a good testimony. Go back to the Old Testament: you come across Abraham and Sarah, a similar couple.

Look at verse 7:

Chapter 1, verse 7: “And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.”

Again it mirrors Abraham and Sarah. And from them of course came Isaac, who is a forerunner for the Lord Jesus Christ. This couple are going to give the world John. John the Baptist, of course!

Chapter 1, verses 8-9: “And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.”

Old Testament temple, pre the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ everything was done through the temple. Today, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit the moment we are born again. Man or woman, it makes no difference. The moment we have received the new birth, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. But here, this is pre the New Covenant, this is pre the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for the most part, the Lord did everything via the temple, via the priests, via the rituals and animal sacrifices.

Look at verse 10:

Chapter 1, verses 10-11: “And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of the incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.”

That term “angel of the Lord” back in the Old Testament, always refers to Jesus Christ, and I’ll come back to this mention of the angel of the Lord shortly. But here, this is an angel of the Lord. Not “the angel”, but “an angel” of the Lord.

Chapter 1, verse 12: “And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.”

Quite natural! If you were to come into contact with something supernatural, you would quake, you would shake. When the Lord Jesus Christ came up out of the tomb, it says that the keepers shook for fear. They became as dead men. All this talk about rebuking UFOs, and anything that’s, you know, subhuman, and standing in the presence of God and telling Him how great you were when you die is ridiculous. You’d be absolutely terrified and petrified.

Chapter 1, verse 13: “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”

Very much like Abraham and Sarah, and also Hagar, when she runs off away from Sarah’s cruelness. The Lord finds her. The angel of the Lord, being Jesus Christ, and he even says to Hagar, you will call the child Ishmael. But here Zacharias is fearful, which is quite normal, and the angel says: Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay, you will bring forth a son and call his name John. They’ve been praying for a son; they’re an elderly couple past the age of childbirth, and a miracle is about to occur.

Chapter 1, verses 14-16: “And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.”

Who came to earth 2,000 years ago? The Lord Jesus Christ. And here, Dr Luke tells us that John’s ministry was to turn the children of Israel to the Lord their God, Jehovah God, once again in reference to Jesus Christ being God.

Chapter 1, verse 17: “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

If you missed it in the previous verse, you couldn’t miss it here. He’s going to come in the spirit and power of Elijah. He’s not Elijah per se. There’s no reincarnation here, but he comes in the spirit and power of Elijah, meaning his ministry is going to be similar to Elijah. Meaning that Elijah could quite possibly be one of the two witnesses in the tribulation. But here, John’s ministry is to prepare the people of Israel for the arrival of their Lord, Jehovah God, coming of course in the person of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 1, verse 18: “And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.”

It’s a fair question. They’re past the age of childbearing, and yet the angel is going to rebuke him for this, because he is a priest. He knew the Old Testament scriptures: nothing is impossible with the Lord.

Look at verse 19:

Chapter 1, verse 19: “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.”

Gabriel and Michael are among the top angels of the Lord, and they are sent to deliver messages. Important messages! And it says here that “I stand in the presence of God.” He has a continual standing in the presence of God.

Chapter 1, verse 20: “And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.”

Again, he should have known better. Hence, why he is now being struck down with dumbness.

Chapter 1, verses 21-22: “And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.”

You can just imagine it! This man, maybe 60, possibly 70 years old, had been serving the Lord all of his life, been praying with his wife for many years for her to be given a child, because there was a stigma involved for women that didn’t have children in this generation. And now he’s being struck down with dumbness. Because he questioned the Lord! His faith should have carried him, he should have understood that with the Lord nothing is impossible, and now he’s going to remain speechless up until the birth of the man called John, John the Baptist.

Chapter 1, verses 23-25: “And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”

Stigma, like I say, and possibly she was worried she may even lose the child, perhaps. So she’s going to hide herself away until she gives birth.

Chapter 1, verses 26-27: “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.”

Gabriel, again, is now being sent to proclaim the arrival of the Son of God. And I want to tie that in with a cross reference, if I may, in Matthew chapter 1. Please turn… Keep one hand in Luke 1 and go to Matthew chapter 1.

Like I say, the angel Gabriel has been sent to Mary, as he was to Zacharias, but in Matthew chapter 1, it says very clearly in verse 20, Matthew 1:20, “But while he [Joseph] thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

The angel of the Lord is deity, the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph to announce the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet Mary is going to be told this wonderful news by Gabriel. Interesting, because the Catholic Church believe that Mary is the queen of heaven; they believe she is almost up there with deity.

And yet here, Dr Luke makes it very clear how Gabriel went to see Mary to proclaim the soon arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereas Joseph was qualified (he was permitted, if you will) to receive the angel of the Lord. And in the Old Testament, the angel of the Lord is deity, but more specifically it’s Jesus Christ. But in the New Testament, the angel of the Lord, I believe, is the Holy Spirit. But maybe more on that in another broadcast.

Back to Luke please, chapter 1, verse 28:

Chapter 1, verse 28: “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

Blessed are you, happy are you, among women. The Lord is with you. You’ve found great favour. You are greatly beloved. That’s it! Mary was a recipient of grace, not a dispenser of grace.

Chapter 1, verse 29: “And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.”

Of course! She, too, would have been apprehensive, somewhat nervous. But again, she’s a child. She’s about 15 years old. So the angel Gabriel treats her differently to how he treated Zacharias, who’s much older.

Look at verse 30:

Chapter 1, verses 30-33: “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS [meaning Jehovah saves]. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

This is primarily in reference to the Second Coming. But of course, we’re looking at this written about 5 B.C., pre the First Coming of the Lord Jesus.

Jesus Christ is a literal King with a literal kingdom, but He says later on in the word of God that His kingdom is not yet of this world. So, for here and now, He has a spiritual kingdom, but when He comes back He will have a physical kingdom. A king has to have a physical kingdom, a king has to have a physical land, that, of course, being the millennial reign.

Look at verse 34:

Chapter 1, verse 34: “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”

Again, she’s 15, she’s a young girl. Like many of her generation, she’s been hoping that perhaps one day she will be chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, the Son of God.

But of course, she gave birth to the Son of Man, not the Son of God. So, you cannot call Mary the mother of God. She was the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it’s a fair question, how can this be? I don’t know a man. You know, I’ve been keeping myself pure for the right man to come along. And it says in verse 35:

Chapter 1, verse 35: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

No sexual intercourse took place here, unlike what the Mormons would have you believe. The Holy Spirit came upon her and by the word of the Lord she was able to conceive. The Lord God spoke the universe into creation, and He came upon her, He overshadowed her, and she was able to fall pregnant. Nothing whatsoever to suggest any kind of sexual intercourse here, as I say, unlike what the Mormons would have you believe.

Chapter 1, verses 36-37: “And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

That should be underlined in every Bible in the world: “for with God nothing [whatsoever] shall be impossible.” Also in reference to the new birth, He can save anyone the moment they believe on Him and receive Him.

But here, this is primarily in reference to the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not the immaculate conception. Mary was not immaculately conceived; she was a sinner like everybody else was, and will be, and has always been. But the Lord chose her through foreknowledge, knowing that she would be able to receive this special calling to give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapter 1, verse 38: “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

That’s submission and humility. She could, in a sense, have said, “No, I can’t do this. The stigma’s going to be awful. People are going to accuse me of all sorts of wicked things,” but she said, “No, let it be according to the will of the Lord.”

Chapter 1, verses 39-40: “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.”

That word “salute”: we think of it today as something which a soldier does when he salutes an officer, or vice versa. But it’s simply old English for “greeting”. She greeted Zacharias and Elisabeth. She’s excited; she wants to get there. She wants to see her cousin Elisabeth before she gives birth to John the Baptist, who was the greatest, according to the Lord Jesus, of all men up until the moment of the kingdom of God. Post-the kingdom of God, I believe that Paul was the greatest that ever lived.

Look at verse 41:

Chapter 1, verses 41-42: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

The babe – baby, human being, not a product of conception – a child made in the image of God! And again, it says here: Blessed are you among women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb, in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look at verse 43:

Chapter 1, verse 43: “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

Her Lord was Jehovah God. And she says in verse 43: “What is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Once again in reference to the deity of Christ. Mary is about to give birth to Jehovah God. Not God the Father, not God the Holy Spirit, but God the Son, but more specifically the Son of Man.

Again, the difference here is that Jesus is eternal. As the Son of God, He’s always existed. But as the Son of Man, He came into the world around 4 BC. And of course, His dual nature here goes back to Mary being filled with the Holy Ghost, which means she’s speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. What she’s saying here is inspired, and she is witnessing – or giving witness, testifying, if you will – that Mary is carrying Jehovah God in her womb.

And also from verse 42, she speaks with a loud voice. Two things to say about that very quickly: demon-possessed people speak with a loud voice, but also Spirit-filled people speak with a loud voice. And this is why you’ve got to be careful with the spirits, because unclean spirits can counterfeit the Spirit of God, and lead people down a dangerous path.

Chapter 1, verse 44: “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”

Again, this is a child made in the image of God. Not a product of conception, not a foetus, a child! Twice, Dr Luke makes this very clear because he was a physician. And anybody who suggests that a child, before they are born, is not a child, or somehow that abortion is justified before a mother gives birth is in grave error.

Chapter 1, verses 45-47: “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23] and here, Mary is simply affirming what we all know: that we are all sinners and that we’re all in need of a Saviour.

Chapter 1, verse 48: “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”

Meaning “greatly beloved”, meaning “something special”, which of course, she was. She was called from among thousands of women to give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ and she was chosen from many girls of her generation. And she says in verse 46 how her soul magnifies the Lord. What a wonderful girl she must have been.

Chapter 1, verse 49: “For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.”

She’s filled with the Holy Spirit, too. She’s 15 years old. And look at the next few verses. You can’t help but notice how she, too, has been filled with the Holy Spirit. I know the text doesn’t tell us that, it tells us how Mary and Zacharias were filled with the Holy Spirit, especially Zacharias, which we’ll look at next time, but here she’s now going to roll out the praise and glory of the Lord.

Look at verse 50:

Chapter 1, verses 50-58: “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever, And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house. Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.”

You can just imagine it! This elderly couple, giving birth to John, like Abraham and Sarah did with Isaac.

Look at verse 59:

Chapter 1, verse 59: “And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father”

Which would be the best thing to do, because his father was called Zacharias. But that’s not what they were told to do by Gabriel.

Look at verse 60:

Chapter 1, verses 60-66: “And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.”

And I’ll close in verse 66, and next time we’ll continue on in verse 67 to complete this amazing first chapter of the Gospel of Luke. But I’ll say this just in the remaining minutes of this broadcast, if I may, how you’ve just discovered something quite amazing. John should have been called after his father Zacharias, but of course he was told very clearly to be called John. And all these Jewish names all have meanings, of course, and John means “Jehovah hath been gracious.” Elisabeth means “God is my oath.” And Zacharias means “Jehovah is renowned.” All these names have meaning. Jesus, of course, means “Jehovah saves.”

But I guess my overall feeling or thoughts for chapter 1 of the Gospel of Luke is how Mary was chosen to bring forth the Son of God. And she received it, purely by faith, and by His arrival into the world, the earth was never the same.

Okay, so just before I conclude this broadcast from Luke chapter 1, I need to make a quick correction, if I may, it was actually Elisabeth who was filled with the Holy Spirit, and how she prophesized concerning the fact that her cousin, Mary, was going to give birth to the Saviour of the world. Her cousin was going to give birth to the Saviour of the world, who would be saving Mary (His own mother) and Elisabeth her cousin, and Zacharias her husband. What an amazing blessing that must have fallen on this family.

She’s filled with the Holy Spirit (Elisabeth, of course), and she’s praising the Lord. She’s proclaiming the fact that Mary is the mother of her Lord, being Jehovah God, of course. But Mary also said in verse 47 how she rejoiced in the fact that God was her Saviour. Just imagine it for a moment how this young girl of 15 years old is going to give birth to the Saviour of the world, who’s going to save her from her own sins later in life. Amazing!

And also let me say this, please, if I may, that sometimes Muslims will try to justify the fact that Mohammed marrying Aisha is the same as Mary giving birth to the Lord Jesus Christ when she was 15 years old. The two are not even remotely the same. Mohammed was in his fifties, when he “married” Aisha, who was six years old. And consummated the “marriage” when she was nine years old. But here Mary was 15 years old when the Holy Spirit came upon her. And like I said, the Lord spoke the universe into creation, and here He simply overcame her, He overshadowed her. Her pregnancy was completely supernatural without any sexual intercourse whatsoever.

So the Muslims, to somehow justify Mohammed being in his fifties, marrying Aisha who was 6 to 9 years old, is shameful. Mary was 15 years old, and like I say, one more time, no sexual intercourse took place whatsoever. But next time we will conclude Luke chapter 1 in verse 66.

Okay, so moving on through Luke chapter 1, and last time we ended in verse 66: “And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.”

John the Baptist was greatly beloved. Like Daniel, like Jeremiah, like Isaiah, like Ezekiel. In fact, John the Baptist in many ways is like Jonathan, who loved David very much, who was prepared to die for David, whereas John the Baptist did die for his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. From the moment John was born to the moment he died, he was chosen; he was earmarked out for something very special. He publicly proclaimed the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of course he baptised the Lord Jesus Christ.

His ministry was to prepare the people of Israel for the arrival of their Messiah. When he was martyred, you can imagine how many more people turned to the Messiah to be saved. He was remarkable. He was the Lord’s cousin. David was greatly beloved by Jonathan (no bloodline connection between the two of them), whereas the Lord Jesus Christ and John the Baptist were of the same family line.

Please go back to verse 41: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

She’s filled with the Holy Ghost and she’s proclaiming something remarkable, but the baby in her womb, being John the Baptist, is leaping for joy. There’s a special connection here, there’s a bond between John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 43: “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

As I said last time, Elisabeth was a Jew and her Lord was Jehovah. Here she is affirming through the Holy Spirit, in verse 41, that Jesus Christ is Jehovah.

But look at verse 44: “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” That’s the second time we are told how John the Baptist responded to Mary’s arrival, but more specifically to Jesus Christ, who is yet to be born.

Verse 45: “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Now I’ve deliberately gone back to these verses to read them again, because I think it’s very interesting, from verse 41, how we are told explicitly how Elisabeth is speaking through the power of the Holy Ghost, in reference to Mary’s soon-to-be arrival of the Messiah of Israel. The Holy Ghost has told Elisabeth, through direct prophecy, through direct revelation, how Jesus Christ is soon to be born.

For those of us living today, there are no direct revelations via the Holy Ghost. We have the written word of God. But here Elisabeth has been told directly from God that her cousin is going to give birth to the Son of God. Quite remarkable! Direct revelation, which occurred many times throughout the Old Testament, but here, in reference to Elisabeth.

And so I say one more time, as far as I am concerned, this bond between John and Jesus is the same as David and Jonathan. But John the Baptist paid with his life (in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ) whereas Jonathan, albeit he did die with his father’s Saul, did not die directly for his love of David. And of course David is a type of Christ.

And one thing we certainly cannot get from any of these verses is how Elisabeth is somehow worshipping Mary. She’s not! As I said last time, Mary was a recipient of grace, as was Elisabeth, as was Zacharias.

She was not, therefore, a dispenser of grace; she was simply a recipient of grace. And verse 47, one final time: “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour”, her Saviour being Jesus Christ, her Son.

So, let’s conclude Luke chapter 1. And please remember the main theme so far is that of prophecy, not foretelling the future, but primarily in reference to praising the Lord.

Now it’s Zacharias’ turn to prophesy, to proclaim, to praise the Lord God. And like some of what Mary told us from verse 49, yes, there are some references to eschatological events, but primarily it is Elisabeth and Mary and Zacharias’ turn and time to praise the Lord.

Chapter 1, verses 67-75: “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”

Where Mary finished in verse 55, Zacharias has continued on up until verse 75. Covering the First Coming and the Second Coming. But much of this is in reference to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how Jesus Christ has saved Israel from their sins and also from her enemies. Her enemies, very much in reference to the Second Coming, her sins very much in reference to the First Coming.

Chapter 1, verses 76-79: “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Prophet of the Highest, son of the Highest. Once again you see the connection, you see the similarities between John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. “The dayspring from on high hath visited us” in reference to Jehovah God. Once again the deity of Jesus Christ is firmly found here. Verse 77: “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.” “Jesus”, in Hebrew, means “Yeshua”. “Yeshua” means salvation. And verse 79: “to give light to them that sit in darkness.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” “And in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” and He’s also called the Prince of Peace.

Chapter 1, verse 80: “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.”

John the Baptist came in the power and in the spirit of Elijah. He wasn’t Elijah, of course, but his ministry was very similar to Elijah, as was his personality, as was his apparel. But the bond between John the Baptist and Jesus Christ goes right back to the time of Elisabeth being pregnant.

Many years went by until John laid eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ in John chapter 1. By that stage they were both 30 years old. And yet, John the Baptist knew that the Man coming towards him to be baptized was his cousin, Jesus Christ. And the price that John paid to follow his cousin cost him his life.

Nothing has changed since the 1st century. If you are a born-again Bible-believing Christian following the Lord Jesus Christ, it will cost you something to publicly proclaim your faith in Him. If you live in the Middle East and you are bold concerning your love and faith for the Lord Jesus Christ, it will cost you something.

John the Baptist refused to compromise and was put to death for his ministry. And Jesus Christ said he was the greatest man that ever lived because he preached about Jesus Christ. He publicly proclaimed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. Through John’s ministry, the Kingdom of God was opened up. John was the first martyr in the New Testament. The bond between John and Jesus is found so clearly in verses 41 down to 44. The babe, the baby, the child, leaped in his mother’s womb. He rejoiced at the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For those that believe in abortion, please reconsider it. The Lord here has taken great care to make it very clear to us how this baby, this child leaped in its mother’s womb. This child was alive. This child was made in the image of God. This child was not a “product of conception”, and this child was not a “foetus”.

So that will conclude my look at Luke chapter 1, a very simplistic approach going through this marvelous gospel, and like I said in the opening broadcast of this Bible study, Dr Luke, I believe, was one of the 70, so he was qualified to write his gospel. Matthew was an apostle; John was an apostle. He says in verse 2, “Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word”, meaning the apostles, of course. The apostles wrote the New Testament and passed their writings down to be read and shared. Everything in the New Testament was written down pre-70 AD, excluding John’s gospel, excluding the Book of Revelation, whereas the Qur’an was written down 200 years after Mohammed died. Not by one man that knew him, not even by two men that knew him, not even by three men that knew him! The writers of the Qur’an did not even know Mohammed personally.

But the writers of the New Testament lived with the Lord Jesus Christ, they walked with the Lord Jesus Christ, and all but one died for the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, my friend, if you are listening to this broadcast and you are not saved, please get down on your knees and cry out to Jesus Christ to save you. Trust in Him and believe on Him in order to be saved. He died in your place. He took the full penalty of your sin on Himself. He came to be your Saviour, not your judge.

And the Bible promises us, the moment we believe on Him and trust in Him, we have been saved and set free from our sins. Zacharias told us this in verse 77, “To give knowledge of salvation onto his people, by the remission of their sins.” Yes, he is referring primarily to Israel at this point in time, but John chapter 1 tells us: to as many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become the sons of God. We, too, become His people the moment we believe on Him.

But here in verse 77, this salvation is universally in reference to Israel. But like I say, the moment you believe on Him, you too become His people, and you, too, can be saved, because “the dayspring from on high hath visited us”. One more time, in reference to Jehovah God, to give light to them that sit in darkness. You are in darkness until you’re born again, but the Son of God has come to set you free from sin and darkness, to guide your feet into the way of peace.

Okay, so one final verse to comment on, before I conclude Luke chapter 1, and it’s verse 71: “that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us.” That’s a pretty broad verse, and it goes back to the Old Testament, it goes into the New Testament, it goes throughout church history, and it goes ultimately into the Great Tribulation.

Anti-Semitism is nothing new. John the Baptist was hounded by Herod who was a Gentile. And behind anti-Semitism is Satan, of course. His ministry is to quite simply eradicate all of the Jews around the world; hence, why the Second World War took 6 years to defeat. He knows that his time is limited, and he knows that if he can annihilate the Jews, he will be able to stop Jesus Christ coming to earth. He failed the first time; he tried to do so in Bethlehem with the slaughter of the innocents. He tried again with the taxation, which we will look at in chapter 2, and he also tried on the cross, 30 AD. It was unsuccessful. Like I say, he knows his time is limited, his ministry really is to thwart the Lord’s purpose for Israel.

But since the crucifixion of the Lord, the Jews have gone from country to country, nation to nation, wandering in the darkness, without a temple, without an atonement for their sins. They are very much under the judgment of God. But this term (how they will be saved in the future from their enemies) really is in reference to salvation in the Great Tribulation which will then be fulfilled in the millennial reign of Christ.

We know from the Epistle to the Romans that the Lord is not finished with Israel, how He still loves Israel, and how He has a plan for them. Some of those Jews will be saved during the Great Tribulation, and they will go on to rule and reign with Him in the millennial reign. But, for here and now, we the Church are God’s people, and therefore it’s down to us to pray for the Jews. It’s down to us to make them jealous of [our standing in] the Lord Jesus Christ.

The flip side to this, of course, is the problem of replacement theology, which goes back to the 4th century when Augustine decided that the Church, as it was in those days, had replaced the nation of Israel, which is, of course, nonsense. The Church has only temporarily replaced Israel. But Israel per se, Israel as a nation, has not been replaced by the Church. Replacement theology, as I say, started with Augustine and it was picked up by the Reformers because they had been pretty much indoctrinated from day one as Catholics with this poisonous teaching of replacement theology. So Augustine founded it, Calvin continued it, and 500 years later, most of the churches around the world still hold to replacement theology. It’s another form, as far as I am concerned, of anti-Semitism.

And here Zacharias, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is praying. He is waiting patiently for deliverance from the enemies of Israel. It’s so easy to fall into this trap of anti-Semitism if you’re not careful.

But Paul mourned, Paul was prepared to be accursed for his people. He wanted them to be saved. All of the New Testament church leaders were Jewish. The Bible was written by Jews.

So, for those of us which are born again, for those of us which love the Lord Jesus Christ, it should be impossible for any of us to ever be anti-Semitic. But above all, our Saviour Jesus Christ was Jewish. Born of the tribe of Judah. And I’ll get to the genealogies later in the Book of Luke.

So be careful here, because as I say, Zacharias speaking under the authority of the Holy Spirit, is prophesying. He’s focusing on a day in the future where Israel will be saved from all of their enemies and from the hand of all that hate us.

Enemies is one thing; to hate them is something else. And of course, Israel’s number one enemy in the world today is Islam. I mentioned the Qur’an a few times throughout this two-part study from Luke chapter 1, because Muslims are divided on many fronts, but they are united when it comes to their hatred of Israel, and they have no understanding that their hatred is born not just in anti-Semitism but also in Satanism.

The Third Reich tried to destroy Israel and failed. Joseph Stalin tried to annihilate many Jews in Russia, and he too failed. The Jews have been given a special right to be on the face of the earth. They were chosen from among all of the nations in spite of themselves, not because of themselves. And the Lord has a love for the Jews, which even the Church, to some extent, doesn’t quite understand. But you must be very careful never to fall into the trap of anti-Semitism. Replacement theology (I still believe this, and I’ll say it one more time) is a problem which many Christian groups have fallen into: how the Church (they say) has replaced Israel, and that too puts pressure on Israel. It robs them of their right to be called the people of God. The Third Reich as I say, Islam and other groups, have also been very vocal over the years at trying to denigrate the Jews, as has the Catholic Church for many centuries. They were very brutal to Jews around the world.

But if you’re born again, you should be praying for Israel, you should be praying for Jews, and you should be witnessing to Jews, and I’ll say this also. Don’t sit on your hands when you meet a Jew. That man or that woman may be Jewish, but they need to be born again. If they’re not born again they will go to Hell, like a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Catholic, or a Freemason. They must be born again. Like you were. Like I am.

Okay, well, I think I’ve said enough for Luke chapter one, the whole purpose of this concept of verse-by-verse Bible teachings is to reach the average man and woman around the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Not religious people, I’m not here to debate anyone. I’m not interested in getting into doctrinal discussions.

My sole purpose is to present the word of God verse by verse, which can be understood by any man or woman whose heart has been opened and prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive the truth. This is a non-scripted Bible study. I said this from the beginning and I’ll say it again. I have no notes here, so as I go through the Gospel of Luke, if I make any mistakes, please forgive me. If I mispronounce any words, please forgive me. If I omit any words or even include any words, please forgive me.

What I will do, I will play back what I’ve recorded and where necessary make some insertions, drop in additional audio recordings. But, for the most part this will be a live verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter recording through the Book of Luke. And I hope you’re all following along with me with your Bibles open.

Don’t take my word as gospel truth. Take the Bible as the gospel truth! Go to the Scriptures. Open it and read along with me. Because I could be wrong, and if I’m wrong and you’re not checking me out in light of Scripture, you too will be wrong as well. That’s not the purpose of this ministry, that’s not why I do what I do. I’m trying to assist those that are saved to grow in grace and those that are not saved to come to the knowledge of the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But one final time from verse 71, they will be saved from their enemies and all that hate them. Pray for Israel. You are blessed when you pray for Israel. Witness to Jews as and when you can. And if you hold to this awful doctrine of replacement theology, turn from it and repent of it. Don’t steal the promises given to the Jews and apply it to the Church! It’s abhorrent, and the Lord will hold you accountable for that.

Okay, well, I think I’ve said enough for this broadcast. This will be the second part of a two-part study from Luke chapter 1, running at 30 minutes apiece, going through the entire Book of Luke. But, for now 80 verses conclude Luke chapter 1. This is a huge book, it will take me several weeks to complete, but Lord willing, by the time it’s finished and it has been uploaded to the Internet and sent out to radio stations to be aired, it will be a blessing to all its recipients.

So, above all, study, study, study, and the Lord will do the rest. Thank you and Maranatha!

CHAPTER 2

Chapter 2, verse 1: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.”

The whole of the Roman Empire was vast, and taxation in those days (as it is today) was very lucrative. But no doubt behind Caesar’s decision to tax the world was Satan.

Mary was heavily pregnant at this stage, and the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem would have been very strenuous to make. So once again, he’s trying to attack the Lord’s Messiah.

Chapter 2, verse 2: “(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)”

Syria also came under his jurisdiction, and today Syria is run by Islamists, whereas Israel is run by democrats.

Verse 2:

Chapter 2, verse 3: “And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.”

This was compulsory, of course, and like I say, to have a worldwide census around 4-5 BC was quite amazing due to the distance that many people would have had to have traveled to get back to their hometowns. But like I say, Satan (as always) is behind world governments, and he’s trying to destroy, he’s trying to overthrow, he’s trying to thwart the Lord’s purpose for bringing His Son into the world.

Chapter 2, verses 4-5: “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”

In Biblical times, to be engaged to another party was the same as being married to that party. Even though at this time the marriage had not been consummated, an engagement had taken place through a wedding feast, not a ceremony.

Verse 6:

Chapter 2, verse 6: “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.”

In reference to Micah chapter 5. Satan may be behind all of the world governments, but behind Satan is God. And He wants the Lord Jesus Christ to be born in Bethlehem, to fulfil Micah chapter 5. And He’s done that through Caesar Augustus (verse 1), an unsaved, pagan, pedophile infidel. And behind Caesar Augustus is Satan, of course.

Chapter 2, verse 7: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

They had to go to Bethlehem, as I say, to register, to pay their taxes, to have their census take place. But at the same time, she wasn’t really ready. She wasn’t prepared to give birth in Bethlehem. She was from Nazareth! But the Lord ‒ always being sovereign, always being loving, always being prepared to go the extra mile for His chosen few ‒ opened a door in a manger, to give birth to the Son of God. How ironic is that!

Chapter 2, verse 8: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”

These shepherds are going to be the first to see the newborn Saviour. Not the three wise men found in Matthew chapter 2, but shepherds, which is very much a picture of the rapture as well.

This intimate gathering to worship the newborn King pictures the return of the Lord just for His church, whereas in Matthew chapter 2, with the arrival of the three wise men, with a huge armed escort, very much pictures the return of the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation.

These shepherds could have been out all year round watching over their flock, but I will say this, that I don’t believe that Jesus Christ was born on December the 25th.

But look at verse 9:

Chapter 2, verse 9: “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

The angel of the Lord, in reference, I believe, for this dispensation, to be the Holy Spirit. The glory of the Lord in reference to the Shekinah glory!

Chapter 2, verse 10: “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

There’s that word again “joy”. We saw it very clearly in chapter 1, verse 44, how the babe, in reference to John the Baptist, leaped in his mother’s womb for joy. Joy that the Lord Jesus Christ was in the same room. This, of course, is supernatural. We can’t understand it, but we are told to believe it nevertheless.

This great news for all people, found in chapter 2 verse 10, is simply in reference to the atonement. The atonement is universal, but it only benefits those who appropriate it, meaning only those that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. And for those people, this is great news indeed.

Look at verse 11:

Chapter 2, verse 11: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

What an amazing statement to make to everyday shepherds! Just ordinary people going about their everyday business, and here, the angel of the Lord, being the Holy Spirit, is proclaiming that this day, around 4 BC, in Bethlehem, in the city of David, a Saviour is going to be born.

Chapter 2, verse 12: “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

That word “babe” again! We saw it very clearly in chapter 1, in reference to John the Baptist. Now it’s in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. And please keep in mind one more thing, the Lord Jesus Christ is here a newborn. But in Matthew chapter 2, He is a toddler. Hence, why the wise men go to see Him when He is about 18 months old or over.

But here, He is just about to be born, and the shepherds have been chosen to worship Him.

Chapter 2, verses 13-14: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Peace from your sins, and peace from your enemies! And good will toward men, in the sense that God has provided an atonement for their sins.

Chapter 2, verse 15: “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

That’s true faith! They went straight away to the manger to see the newborn King, whereas in Matthew chapter 2 when Herod called for the wise men to come and advise him as to whether or not the King of the Jews had been born, they gave him the reference, but they did not go with the wise men to worship the newborn King. Typical apostate religious priests! But here, the shepherds ‒ ordinary, everyday people ‒ went straight away to worship the newborn King.

The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. He didn’t come to call the righteous to repentance, He came for sinners. He came to make sinners right with God. He came for the humble, not the proud.

Look at verse 16:

Chapter 2, verses 16-18: “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”

The shepherds are now proclaiming the birth of the King of the Jews. This is a picture of the Great Commission.

But look at verse 19:

Chapter 2, verse 19: “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

She’s around 15 years old. She’s not omnipresent, she’s not omnipotent, and she’s not omniscient. She’s a young child, and she’s trying to understand the magnitude of what has just occurred.

Verse 20:

Chapter 2, verse 20: “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

That’s how it should be! When sinners meet God, they should rejoice in the fact that God has provided an atonement for their sins: His very own Son! Great joy, something wonderful, something to be in great gratitude over, that the Lord has done something so magnificent for us.

Verse 21:

Chapter 2, verse 21: “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Jesus, again, means “Jehovah saves”. And His name was chosen before He was even born.

Verse 22:

Chapter 2, verses 22-24: “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”

Mary and Joseph were true Jews. They kept the Mosaic covenant. And yet their Son had come to save them from the law. But at this stage they are still under the law, so they are faithfully going up to the temple in Jerusalem to offer their sacrifices for the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, very much like a thanksgiving sacrifice.

Also one point to quickly cover in reference to the sacrifice that Joseph and Mary offered to the Lord in Jerusalem is the simple fact that they were poor. They weren’t wealthy, of course: two turtledoves or two young pigeons. Again, the irony of this is staggering. Simply picture the fact how the Lord of the universe, who owns everything, and has everything, has come to earth around 4 BC and has been born to a couple of very poor individuals. And here, He’s going up to His own temple to be offered to Himself. But later on the Lord Jesus Christ would tell us how He is the Lord of the temple, but for here and now the temple is the centre of their lives.

So, during the last broadcast we ended in verse 24 of Luke chapter 2, where we discovered Joseph and Mary going up to the temple in Jerusalem to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. At this point in time, the Jewish temple meant the world to the people of Israel, but later on, the Lord Jesus Christ told them how He was the Lord of the temple, how He was the Lord of the Sabbath, and how the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

For those of us living today we know that where two or three gather, Christ is there in the midst of us. But here it’s quite remarkable how the Lord God of the universe, who owns everything, and has everything, has come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. His parents, which had absolutely nothing, are now going up to the temple, as I say, to offer a sacrifice to Him. It’s so paradoxical.

But let’s start today’s broadcast, if we may, in verse 25:

Chapter 2, verse 25: “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.”

This man, Simeon, represents a very small remnant of Bible-believing Jews. Most of the Old Testament people of Israel did not believe in their kings or in their prophets. The same was true when the Lord Jesus Christ arrived. But Simeon was a faithful man, and he’s waiting for the consolation of Israel. He’s waiting for redemption to be offered for their sins, and he’s also waiting for the Davidic kingdom to be established, which of course is very much in reference to the Second Coming, not the First Coming.

Look at verse 26:

Chapter 2, verse 26: “And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

The Lord’s Messiah, being Jesus of course! And like Elisabeth, he too has received a divine revelation from the Holy Ghost. We know from Malachi to Matthew, a period of around 400 years, how the Lord hadn’t spoken to anyone, but within one chapter of this book of Luke, we had discovered from chapter 1 how the Holy Ghost has spoken to Elisabeth, and here, in chapter 2, how He has spoken to Simeon, and He’s promised him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

Look at verse 27:

Chapter 2, verses 27-32: “And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

Simeon must have been a very remarkable man because not only was he promised that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ, but in verse 28 he takes the Child up in his arms and blesses Him, and he says: “mine eyes have seen thy salvation,” Yeshua meaning salvation. Jesus, meaning Jehovah saves, which He “hast prepared before the face of all people… to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

Jesus Christ was Jewish, He came for the people of Israel and also for the Gentiles. And again, this is a direct revelation from the Lord to Simeon.

Elisabeth experienced something in chapter 1, and here Simeon is experiencing something as well. Also, please remember that at this point in time apostasy in Israel was rife; hence, why the Holy Ghost is speaking directly to people like Simeon and Elisabeth.

But today He speaks to us through His written word.

Chapter 2, verse 33: “And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.”

There seems to be a picture here of progressive revelation. Yes, they knew that Jesus Christ was the Son of the Highest, and yet there are references like this and the previous one in verse 19, how they are contemplating, how they are meditating, how they are at times almost bewildered as to what is occurring.

No reference here to Mary being the so-called queen of heaven. She wasn’t omnipresent, omnipotent or omniscient. She was just a simple girl, chosen among thousands of her generation to bring forth the God-Man, as was her cousin Elisabeth chosen to bring forth John the Baptist (Jesus’ cousin, of course).

Look at verse 34:

Chapter 2, verses 34-35: “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was a bond between Jesus and John, as we saw back in the Old Testament between David and Jonathan, but here there’s a bond between Jesus and Mary.

When the Lord hung on the cross, He was physically pierced with a spear, and Mary here is being told by Simeon via direct revelation, via the Holy Ghost, that she too is going to have a sword pierce her own soul, that the thoughts of many may be revealed.

She must have suffered to see Him physically on the cross, but there’s something even deeper than this. She must have been able to feel at a point in time some of the agony that He suffered as a Sin-bearer of mankind.

Nothing mystical here, nothing Catholic here, but something much deeper, something much more profound. There’s a bond between Mary and Jesus which we don’t quite understand, but we are told to believe it.

Verse 35, one more time: “(…a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Something happened on the cross when the Lord died for the sins of the world, He was there for six hours, and she experienced some of that pain. She was able to understand some of the thoughts of the hearts at that point in time. We can’t go beyond that, so we will leave it in verse 35.

But in verse 34, Simeon says how the Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel. I think it’s in reference to 70 AD, the collapse of Israel. And the rising again of many, I think could be in reference to 1948, when the Jews went back to the land.

Look at verse 36:

Chapter 2, verses 36-37: “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

You see it very clearly here just how much the temple meant to the faithful remnant of Bible-believing Jews.

Verse 38:

Chapter 2, verse 38: “And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

Like the shepherds, she too is picturing here the Great Commission. She was a woman who witnessed the Lord’s arrival and sacrifice offered for Him in the temple and she’s proclaiming the Lord’s redemption. The same is true of Mary Magdalene: she was the first to see the risen Christ.

Also this term for prophetess, found in verse 36, simply means to praise the Lord. We saw it with Elisabeth and Mary and Zacharias. She wasn’t a prophet in the sense of foretelling the future, like Ezekiel, Jeremiah or Isaiah, but more in the sense of praising and worshiping the Lord. And she, too, in verse 38, seems to be in the right place at the right time. She was a faithful, Bible-believing Jew, like I say, as was Simeon, and she’s being rewarded for her fastings and prayers night and day.

A very small remnant of Jews were ready for the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most did not believe on Him; most did not even believe in the written word of God. The same is going to be true at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 39:

Chapter 2, verses 39-40: “And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

Very similar language to John the Baptist, and these two boys, about 30 years old by the time they went into full-time ministry, if you will, were to transform the world, but here Jesus Christ is going to grow, and the grace of God is going to be upon Him. This is also in reference to His human nature. As I say, Mary gave birth to the Son of Man, not the Son of God per se. Yes, He was always deity, but she gave birth to His human side, not His divine side.

Look at verse 41:

Chapter 2, verses 41-42: “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.”

At this point there’s no reference to His siblings, and there’s two points to quickly share here. It could be 1) that Doctor Luke isn’t interested in them, hence why he omits them, or 2) perhaps they haven’t yet been born.

But let’s read on.

Chapter 2, verses 43-45: “And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.”

He was twelve years old. He was like most boys of His age, in the fact that He may have been associating with friends. Perhaps they thought that He was with their extended family and friends. But of course, He was not. Now the panic sets in. Where is He? We have to go back and find Him.

Verse 46:

Chapter 2, verse 46: “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.”

These doctors were the scholars of the temple, like Nicodemus. They were the doctors of theology, the PhDs, the BAs, the ThDs.

But look at verse 47:

Chapter 2, verse 47: “And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.”

He’s twelve years old, and He’s running circles around the elite, the scholars, the best of the best.

Verse 48:

Chapter 2, verse 48: “And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.”

She’s amazed at where He is and what He’s doing.

Look at verse 49:

Chapter 2, verse 49: “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Jesus mildly, but clearly, reprimands Mary for calling Joseph His father and also for not knowing where He was.

“I must be about my Father’s business”, in reference to God, of course. Mary, one more time, was not omnipresent, she was not omnipotent, and she was not omniscient. She didn’t know where Jesus was, and she didn’t even know what He was doing when she found Him, and when she did find Him, she was shocked!

Verse 50:

Chapter 2, verse 50: “And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.”

Again, progressive revelation is continued on through the gospel of Luke. They are growing with Him in many ways. He’s growing physically, they are growing spiritually. They’re trying to keep up with Him.

Verse 51:

Chapter 2, verse 51: “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”

Like Jacob did in reference to Joseph. She’s not quite there yet when it comes to understanding just what He’s going to do for the people of Israel.

And verse 52:

Chapter 2, verse 52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

The young Jesus here is already becoming a mediator between God and man. But these 52 verses from chapter 2 make it very clear to me how Mary, on at least three occasions, failed to grasp just who Jesus Christ was. Yes, she knew He was the Son of God. Yes, she knew He had come to save Israel from their sins, but she’s still trying to understand how He could be God and man at the same time. Who can blame her? We were never told to understand this, but we were told to believe this.

And also from Luke chapter 2 we discovered how the Lord directly intervened into the lives of Simeon and Anna, in reference to Jesus Christ being His only begotten Son.

The apostasy of Israel at this time was endemic, so the Lord bypassed all of the elite priests and scholars (and we saw this from verse 46) and spoke directly into the hearts of Simeon and Anna.

And Jesus Christ, at 12 years old, is already so astonishing when it comes to His questions and answers. But Mary and Joseph are going to have to grow in grace, as you have to grow in grace, and as I have to grow in grace, because they too were sinners, in need of a Saviour and in need of an understanding Deity to forgive them of their sins and to bear with them. But one more time, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

That word “ye” is plural for “both of you.” Why are you surprised? Why have you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my father’s business? It is a rebuke, there’s no way around it.

But moving on from the Lord’s mild rebuke, you find in verse 51 how He was subject unto them. “Honor thy mother and thy father,” and He did. Of course, Joseph was not His biological father, he was His stepfather, and no doubt Jesus loved Joseph as He loved His mother. But she, Mary, kept all these sayings in her heart. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God is no respecter of persons.

In verse 52, one final time: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” The young Jesus is already becoming a young mediator between man and God.

CHAPTER 3

Chapter 3, verses 1-2: “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.”

God spoke directly to Elizabeth and Zacharias and Simeon and Anna, and here, the word of God, the spoken word of God came directly from Heaven to John, who was in the wilderness preparing for the arrival of the Messiah.

Look at verse 3:

Chapter 3, verses 3-4: “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

L-O-R-D: quoted from Isaiah chapter 40 in reference to Jehovah God. Here, doctor Luke is citing this piece of scripture in reference to Jesus Christ.

Verse 5:

Chapter 3, verses 5-6: “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Very much in reference to the First Coming and also to the Second Coming. All flesh shall see the salvation of God. Some people saw him on the cross around 30 AD, but every eye will see Him at the end of the Great Tribulation, Revelation chapter 1.

Look at verse 7:

Chapter 3, verses 7-8: “Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

Don’t say Abraham is your father. Don’t say the pope is your leader. Don’t say you have Mary to intercede for you. Don’t say you have the saints to pray on your behalf. Come to the Lord as you are, and He will receive you! The Jews are very prideful people, they would be boasting in the sense that they were related to the patriarch Abraham. And John says: Forget it, bring forth fruit worthy of repentance! Come humbled, come broken, come prepared to be repaired and restored and made ready for the arrival of the Messiah!

Verse 9:

Chapter 3, verse 9: “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

The Lord is getting ready to switch from Israel to the Church, from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. Jesus Christ was “set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34). The falling could be in reference to the end of the Old Covenant, and the rising again could be in reference to the New Covenant. We have been buried with Christ, we have been resurrected with Christ if we are born again.

But here John is making it very clear that the axe is laid unto the root of the trees and God is going to cut down every tree which does not bring forth good fruit. Get ready for the arrival of the Messiah!

Also from verse 8, we find the word “repentance.” Please turn to Genesis chapter 6. Look at verse 5: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

Repenteth, repented, repent: all means the same thing. Quite simply, to be remorseful, to have sorrow, to have regret.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 3, verse 8, one more time: “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham”, being the Gentiles, of course! By the fall of Israel, the Church was grafted in!

One more cross reference, please turn to Acts chapter 17. Take a look at verse 22: “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.”

Here Paul is addressing unsaved pagans, and he wants them to be saved.

Verse 23: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

We are all physical descendants from Adam, but we are only God’s children the moment we become born again, Galatians chapter 3.

Look at verse 29: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”

This is typical of unsaved people who think that a graven image represents the one true God, and here the word Godhead is in reference to the Trinity, or the tri-unity of God.

Look at verse 30: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

That man, of course, is Jesus Christ, and He has chosen a day when He will judge the world in righteousness, in reference to the Great White Throne Judgment.

But verse 30, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at [meaning He overlooked it]; but now” right here, right now, He has commanded, He has ordained, He has ordered “all men every where to repent”, meaning to change your mind, to show remorse, sorrow and regret (from Genesis chapter 6) and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in Him as a Son of God, and belief on Him as a Saviour of the world.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 3, verse 7, one more time: “Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” [Who has told you that judgment is about to fall?] Verse 8: “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance”.

Make sure your hearts have truly been prepared to receive the coming Messiah. I will baptize you in water, which will prepare you for the arrival of the Messiah, but He will put you into the body of Christ. John’s baptism of repentance was simply to prepare the people of Israel for the arrival of the Messiah.

From Acts 19, we find the apostle Paul coming across some of John’s disciples, and he says to them: Have ye received the Holy Spirit? And they said to him: We haven’t even heard if there is a Holy Spirit. They were baptized by John, via water of course, but they were not baptized into the body of Christ. Water puts you into water, but the Spirit puts you into the body of Christ.

Still in verse 8: “We [all of us] have Abraham to our father”. Like the Catholics: “We have the pope, we have the mass, we have Mary”. Like the Protestants: “We have the 39 articles of faith”. The Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, they’re all the same: “We have tradition, we have this, we have that.” And John says forget it. Bring forth fruit worthy of repentance!

These people, these institutions, are not going to save you, because “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Through the fall of Israel, the church is temporarily being grafted in. And for here and now, during the Church age we are the people of God, those of us which have been born again.

But at the end of the Church age, the Lord turns back to Israel. And this axe, in verse 9, is at the root of the trees. It’s ready to cut down the trees, because the fruit is rotten.

Chapter 3, verse 10: “And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?”

Now he’s got their attention. But remember, his baptism is in preparation for the Messiah, he’s wanting to prepare them to receive Jesus Christ.

Verse 11:

Chapter 3, verse 11: “He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”

This goes back, really, to James chapter 2: if your brother or sister has something which they are in need of, give it to them. Your faith will produce works, and your works will prove that you have faith.

But one more time, he is trying to prepare the hearts of the people of Israel to receive the coming Messiah.

Chapter 3, verse 12: “Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?”

Now the tax collectors are arriving! Convicted, no doubt, by his hellfire preaching, which is pretty rare today, and he says in verse 13:

Chapter 3, verse 13: “And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.”

Be content with your wages. Stop defrauding your brethren!

Chapter 3, verse 14: “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

Pretty much in reference to verse 13, to the tax collectors. They were skimming off money from their Roman masters, and no doubt the soldiers were not content with their pittance of a wage.

Also keep in mind from verse 14, these Roman soldiers are serving in Israel under orders from Herod the Tetrarch, who was a Gentile.

They were brutal, we saw that from Matthew chapter 2 when they slew the innocents in Bethlehem, but his preaching must have been so powerful that these Roman soldiers came to hear him and they responded, like we see from Acts chapter 10 in reference to Cornelius, who got baptized, who converted to Judaism.

But remember one more time, please, that John’s preaching is simply to prepare the people for the arrival of the Messiah. To keep verse 11, 12, 13 and 14 would not save you. And yet, saying that, I will say, especially from verse 11, how you can take that piece of Scripture and apply it today in a spiritual sense, as you could also do from verses 13 and 14.

But look at verse 15:

Chapter 3, verses 15-17: “And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”

In case you missed it, from verse 16 and also from verse 8, he is reiterating the fact that his baptism is simply to put you into water. But Jesus is going to put you into the Holy Ghost if you are saved. And if you are not saved, into fire. And the fire from verse 17 is unquenchable. It never goes out! Hell is eternal, as is Heaven.

But verse 16 underlines the humility of John: how he says “one mightier than I cometh”. He must increase, I must decrease. I’m not even worthy to unloose His shoelaces.

What did Abraham say? I’m just dust and ashes. Peter said: Depart from me, Lord, I am a sinful man.

This goes back to verse 8: Bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. Humble yourself. Get down on your knees and cry out to God like a beggar. He came to save sinners. He came to call unrighteous people to repentance. He didn’t come for the proud or the righteous or the holier-than-thou. He came for the everyday, humble, broken, repentant sinner.

Chapter 3, verse 18: “And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.”

John the apostle tells us that the Lord said and did many things which were not written down.

And here John would have been preaching for weeks, if not months, in preparation for the Messiah to come. He wasn’t wanting anyone to come to him to be baptized without truly counting the cost of being identified with the coming King of Israel. No easy believe-ism! And at the same time, no Lordship salvation either. Come as you are, broken, and He, the Lord Jesus Christ, will put you back together again. He will fix you! He makes dead men alive.

Take a look at verse 19, please:

Chapter 3, verses 19-20: “But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.”

John preached against the incest, the sin of adultery, in reference to Herod being involved with Philip’s wife. John was a fearless preacher. He called a spade a spade, and after a while, pressure from Herodias and her daughter, Herod decided to put John in jail. If he could have avoided it, he would have done, but he loved the praise of men, more than the praise of God.

Look at verse 21:

Chapter 3, verses 21-22: “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”

God the Father speaks to God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit appears in a bodily shape and rests on the Lord Jesus Christ.

But even more magnificent, in verse 21, is how Jesus is lining up to be baptized with everyone else. Humility! It’s staggering!

Go back to Luke chapter 2, and we saw it last time, where Joseph and Mary are going up to the temple to offer their sacrifice to the Lord. No doubt queueing up to go into the temple because it was a very busy place, sacrificing animals every day of the week.

And here the Lord Jesus Christ is lining up with sinners to be baptized by His cousin John the Baptist. He, Jesus, was without sin, but He, Jesus, became a sin bearer for us.

And verse 22, one more time: “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” Nobody could have missed it, God the Father speaking about God the Son, and the Holy Spirit also testifying to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God.

Those standing around must have heard it, and John the Baptist, no doubt, must have been overwhelmed with this great event. All of his life he has been preparing for this day and now his cousin has come to be baptized as a sign to Israel. Water does not save you, we know this from Ephesians chapter 4 and 1 Corinthians chapter 12, but to show others that you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, a water baptism by total immersion is called for. You are baptized because you have already been saved, not in order to be saved. And Jesus Christ has come to be baptized as a sign to Israel that He is the Messiah of God.

A one very quick footnote to insert, which was of interest to me when I discovered it a few days ago, how Matthew chapter 3 speaks about repentance, Mark chapter 3 speaks about repentance, John chapter 3 speaks about repentance in reference to the new birth, and Luke chapter 3 speaks about repentance in reference to the preparation of the arrival of the Messiah.

It’s very interesting how the Holy Spirit lays out the book which we call the Bible. Every word is God-breathed: “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

But as I said, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all cover the new birth by repentance in the third chapter of each of their writings. Very interesting!

And one last time from verse 6 how all flesh shall see the salvation of God, “Yeshua” meaning salvation, or “salvation” meaning Yeshua, and “Jesus” meaning “Jehovah saves”. All flesh in a sense saw Yeshua on the cross, and all flesh in a sense will see Jesus return in Revelation chapter 1.

But please turn very quickly, if you will, to John chapter 20. Look at verse 29: “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

So, yes, those people back in the 1st century which physically saw the Lord were blessed. But here, the Lord makes it very clear that those that have not seen are blessed equally, because we live by faith, not by sight. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

So please turn back to Luke chapter 3, and I can see that I’m already out of time for today’s broadcast, so I’ll say very briefly if I may, in reference to doctor Luke’s genealogy, where he traces Jesus right back to the first man, being Adam. And Adam is called the Son of God, which is interesting, because Jesus Christ is called the second Adam, whereas Matthew traces Jesus Christ right back to Abraham, the first Jew.

Also in verse 23, Joseph is called the son of Heli. Heli was the father of Mary. Joseph married Mary, and therefore he was allowed, he was qualified, he was entitled to be called the son of Heli.

So there’s no discrepancy here when it comes to Doctor Luke’s genealogy of the Lord Jesus when we compare it to Matthew’s genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Seventy-seven names found here, and please read this in your own time and leisure, very interesting. Seventy-seven, we know from latter parts of the New Testament, when the Lord comes across Peter in reference to repentance, and he says, “How many times should I forgive my brother?” and Jesus says 70 times 7, meaning 77. And here 77 names make up the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ, from Joseph all the way back to Adam, being the first man, of course.

Chapter 3, verses 23-38: “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.”

Next up, Luke chapter 4.

CHAPTER 4

Chapter 4, verses 1-2: “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.”

The Son of Man is human; the Son of God is divine. Here, we find the Son of Man being hungry, which refers back to His humanity.

He was tired; He was hungry. He was the Son of Man, but at the same time He is also the Son of God.

God became man in Christ Jesus. But here, we are going to focus primarily on the next 13 versus on Satan interacting with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ being the Creator; Satan being the creation. And 13 is an interesting number, because 13 has for many years been synonymous with the occult, Friday the 13th considered by many to be an unlucky day. Thirteen is also very infamous in witchcraft circles.

Also, this term for wilderness is found many times throughout the New Testament. We find it very clearly in Revelation chapter 12, in reference to Israel hiding, seeking refuge from Satan, one more time, throughout the Great Tribulation.

Paul, when he was saved, went into the wilderness. Sometimes, people say, “I’ve had a wilderness experience.” But here, Jesus Christ, being full of the Holy Spirit, is going into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.

Satan tempted Adam, and Adam fell. And here, Satan is going to tempt the second Adam, but the second Adam is not going to fail.

Verse 3:

Chapter 4, verse 3: “And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.”

Satan has the audacity but also the authority to interrogate, to test the Lord Jesus Christ. He says: If you are the Son of God, command this stone to be made bread.

Jesus Christ is very God. He could do whatever He wanted to do, and even to this present time, He can still do whatever He chooses to do. But He’s hungry from verse 3, and Satan is also trying to split the God-Man in the sense that He wants him to rely on His divinity because He is hungry in reference to His human side in verse 2, but in verse 3 he is referring to His divinity, His deity. He wants Jesus Christ to trust in His divinity. But Jesus Christ here is going to be tested by His humanity.

Verse 4:

Chapter 4, verse 4: “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

The written word of God, inspired by God and preserved by God. Food only takes you so far, but eventually you will need the written word of God. Not just to live and survive in Satan’s world, but to know the will of God.

Take the word of God out of the equation, and you will never know the will of God for your life.

Chapter 4, verse 5: “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.”

Not difficult to do now through satellite television and the Internet. But here, around 26 A.D., this was something unimaginable, unprecedented. But Satan is a created being. He is supernatural. Paul said in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 that he is the god of this world, lowercase “g”, of course. But he has authority, and here he is boasting to Jesus Christ. He’s saying: all this I have, but if you wanted it will come at a price. Much like we find with movie stars and popstars and politicians today. Many of these men and women have sold their soul for success, and they’ve become Satan’s children as a result.

Chapter 4, verse 6: “And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.”

He has great authority, as do his minions. Many people are following Satan today directly and indirectly. Clairvoyants commune with the spirits of the deceased (or so they believe), but in reality they are communing with Satan and his minions.

“All this power will I give thee and the glory of them.” What a statement to make, and there’s two ways to look at this, because Satan in John chapter 8 is called a liar and also murderer. But at the same time, the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t correct him either. So, it’s just possible to read these verses and taken them literally in the sense that Satan has this power and authority and almost right, from Heaven of course, to do with it as he sees fit.

And please also keep in mind something very simple which is lost on many today: that Satan is a literal being. Jesus Christ is not speaking to Himself; He’s speaking to Satan and Satan is speaking to Jesus Christ as well. Two literal supernatural beings! One is good; one is evil. One will save you; one will damn you.

Look at verse seven, please:

Chapter 4, verse 7: “If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

He doesn’t correct him again; He allows him to continue on this diatribe, this theme, this monologue almost, in the sense that Satan is trying to get Jesus Christ to fall down and worship him. Isaiah 14: Satan makes it very clear that he wants to be like God and even replace God, if he could. But of course, his time on this earth is limited.

And I’ll say this also, if I may. If you are a Bible-believing Christian and you are being tempted and tested or even afflicted, perhaps by an unclean spirit, look at verse 8:

Chapter 4, verse 8: “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

He goes to the Scripture one more time, and He says: You get behind Me and you must worship the Lord your God.

Who is Satan speaking to? Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ here is affirming deity, divinity. He’s saying: You, Satan, get behind Me and worship the Lord your God because it is written in the word of God ‒ the written word ‒ whereas Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, “and him [God] only shalt thou serve.”

Satan was a created being, and he was created to serve God. You find that very clearly in Ezekiel 28, and yet not being deterred by these words from the Lord Jesus, take a look at verse 9:

Chapter 4, verses 9-11: “And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

Now it’s Satan’s turn to quote Scripture, and he knows the word of God better than most people will ever know it. He’s been around for thousands of years, and he is very interested in organised religion as well.

He’s got the popstars, the politicians and the movie stars in his pocket. He’s got most churches and the world religions in his pocket, too. But what he hasn’t got in his pocket are true Bible-believing Christians. And he certainly has not got the Lord Jesus Christ in his pocket, also.

This pinnacle, found in verse 9, of the temple was 450 feet high. Satan likes height. He took Jesus up to a high mountain in verse 5.

Back in the Old Testament, many of the pagans worshipped on high mountains. But Jesus Christ also took His apostles up into the mountain of the Transfiguration.

Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. So, there’s something in the word of God, when it comes to height and also depth. Satan is also very interested in the ocean.

But let’s move on, if we may.

Chapter 4, verse 12: “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

One more time He is referring to His deity, and He’s quoting the Old Testament to affirm this.

Satan has just quoted the word of God from verses 9 down to 11, and he’s also twisted the word of God, like he did back in Genesis chapter 3. And if you back to the Scripture which Satan is quoting, from Psalm 91, and if you read it very carefully, you will see just how subtly he has twisted and misrepresented the written word of God.

Chapter 4, verse 13: “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.”

A period of time, no more than that. Today we have four seasons in the UK. And here, this season is simply in reference to a period of time. But he’s going to return, he’s going to try time after time to thwart the Lord’s ministry, the Lord’s mission. He’s going to work through the weakest of the weakest apostles, but Jesus Christ is going to have to pray the High Priest’s prayer for His little flock to keep Satan away from them.

Please allow to say this also, if I may: that we as Bible-believing Christians have no right to ever directly communicate with Satan or his minions. The apostles did so on a limited basis. The apostles were hand-picked by the Lord Jesus Christ for service, not salvation, but their service was determined by God’s foreknowledge, as to how they could handle any given situation.

If you go to the Book of Jude, you discover very clearly how Michael the Archangel, when disputing with Lucifer over the body of Moses, says: “The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude verse 9). Michael the Archangel doesn’t directly rebuke Satan. He passes Satan back to God; he brings God into the equation, and he relies totally on the Lord God of the Bible to deal with Satan.

And here, Jesus Christ very clearly affirms a) His divinity and b) the written word of God. So, if you are being tempted or afflicted by Satan, verse 8: “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

That’s the nearest you ever need to get as a Bible-believing Christian when dealing with Satan. Turn from sin, flee from sin and seek refuge in the Lord God of the Bible, but don’t ever engage him through dialogue. He’s far too powerful for that. At the same, Michael the Archangel didn’t even dare bring an accusation against Satan. He says, “The Lord rebuke thee.”

So, please be mindful of these points. And verse 13, as I say, is interesting because it points back one more time to the occult, Friday the 13th being considered by many to be a bad day. But 13 in the occult and Satanism is considered by them to be very important indeed, and here the Bible written by the Holy Ghost has given verse 13 as a pointer to show us very clearly that when this things had ended, Satan departed from Jesus for a season.

So, 13 is important when it comes to Satan, but as Bible-believing Christians we should always be fearing God, not Satan, and neither should we ever fear man because “the fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25).

Chapter 4, verses 14-15: “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.”

For 3 1/2 years, there was no sickness anywhere in Israel and His fame went abroad. He was known throughout the entire Middle East, as it is now known today. Paul (I believe) quite possibly knew of the Lord Jesus Christ. Herod’s secret police and Pilate’s secret police, along with the temple priests’ secret police, would have been watching the Lord Jesus very carefully. He did nothing in secret. He wasn’t ashamed of His ministry, unlike the Freemasons that meet in secret to do their wicked and evil deeds. He did everything out in the open, and He was “glorified of all.”

Also in verse 15, “synagogues” not “churches.” This is still very much Old Testament teachings, if you will. Nothing found so far in the first four chapters of the Gospel of Luke has any direct doctrinal application to the Bible-believing Christian today, but we can and must take these verses in a spiritual sense.

Look at verse 16:

Chapter 4, verse 16: “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”

The Sabbath day (one more time) is Saturday not Sunday. The Jews met on a Saturday, whereas Christians meet on a Sunday because Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead on a Sunday, not a Saturday. But here, He’s in the synagogue and He’s standing up to read the word of God.

Chapter 4, verses 17-19: “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

From Isaiah 61, and the atmosphere must have been electric.

Look at verse 20:

Chapter 4, verse 20: “And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.”

These men knew the Old Testament back to front, but they didn’t believe the Old Testament. That’s the problem! You can be very religious and have a head knowledge, but unless your heart has been circumcised, it’s all in vain.

Their eyes were fastened, focused exclusively on the Lord Jesus Christ. The atmosphere (as I say) must have been electric. This Man has lived among them all of His life, and He has walked into their synagogue. He has quoted Isaiah 61, and He has stopped halfway through Isaiah’s prophecy. Why? Because He is only referring to the First Coming, in reference to the son of Joseph, the suffering Saviour. The second part of Isaiah 61 is in reference to the Son of David, coming back to conquer the earth to rule and reign for a thousand years. They couldn’t believe what they had just seen and heard!

Look at verse 21:

Chapter 4, verse 21: “And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Can you imagine the reaction from these people? He says: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me [verse 18], and he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.”

This was a messianic prophecy of the Messiah, and Jesus Christ has walked into their own synagogue in Nazareth where He had been raised, and He has said to them, “I am the Messiah.” They couldn’t believe what they were seeing or hearing.

Take a look at verse 22:

Chapter 4, verses 22-24: “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”

How very true! You try witnessing to your friends and family. Most of those people that you know ‒ friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours perhaps ‒ won’t listen to your witness, because they can remember you before you were saved. But if somebody else goes to them with the word of God, the chances are they will receive it.

Jesus Christ was raised in Nazareth for 30 years of His life. These people lived with Him. They maybe even worked with Him as He was growing up, perhaps helping Joseph in his wood yard.

And He says “No prophet is accepted in his own country.” He’s even referring here to the fact that He is a prophet, but even that’s too much for them to receive.

Chapter 4, verses 25-27: “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.”

From verse 25 down to verse 27, the Lord Jesus quotes Elijah’s and Elisha’s ministry, and He makes it very clear that there was great famine in the land in verse 25, and yet Elisha was only sent unto a woman in Sidon who was a widow.

Miracles in the Old Testament were far and few between. Miracles in the New Testament post-the Gospels and post-Acts chapter 16 are even rarer.

Paul told us in Romans chapter 1 that “the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). So, for the Lord Jesus Christ to quote Elijah’s and Elisha’s ministries, in reference to the fact that these great men were sent not necessarily to the children of Israel, but to people outside of Israel, which pictures the Lord’s ministry post-the rejection of Israel. He’s going to go to the Gentiles.

Look at verse 28:

Chapter 4, verses 28-29: “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.”

They wanted to kill him, and they would do in 30 A.D. on the cross.

But here and now, His time was not yet come. Here, His divinity steps in and He is whisked away.

Look at verse 30:

Chapter 4, verses 30-31: “But he passing through the midst of them went his way, And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.”

When man meets God, the chances are he is going to reject God. Man hates God, but the “Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Man turns from God, but thanks be to God, God turns to man and rescues man. But man has to believe. Man has to receive the gift of eternal life which is found only through Jesus Christ.

But how sad and how tragic these verses are, that the people of Israel (the Jews) in their synagogue despised the gracious words which proceeded out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Is not this Joseph’s son?” What a slap in the face to the Lord Jesus! They wanted God, but not Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ said: No Son, no Father. No Father, no Son. If you reject the Father, you have also rejected the Son as well.

And I’ll say this also, too, if I may: Their understanding of God was seriously flawed due to the fact that for many years, the people of Israel had been in captivity to Babylon, and also they are living under Roman occupation through Herod the Tetrarch. Their priests have all sold out. Their priests are career clergy.

So, for the most part, the people of Israel have no idea who God is. Hence, why Jesus Christ chose Simeon and Anna to preach, to proclaim, to experience His arrival and also Elizabeth too, who proclaimed, who prophesized about the birth of Christ whereas Simeon prophesized and proclaimed about the death of Christ.

Organised religion, for the most part, played no part in the arrival of the Messiah of Israel. That is something outstanding. That’s something profound. That’s something which all Bible-believing Christians today should be mindful of. God does not dwell in temples made by the hands of men. He reigns in the hearts of all those which have been regenerated, born again.

Chapter 4, verse 32: “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.”

Of course it was! He’s God and He’s also man. He’s the Creator of the universe. His words would ricochet through the souls of mankind. When you met Jesus Christ, you were never the same again.

Chapter 4, verses 33-34: “And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.”

The Holy One of God! Go back to Isaiah 43, which is in reference to Jehovah God. The unclean spirit knew that Jesus Christ was Jehovah God. The unclean spirit, like Satan, was created by Jehovah God, and this unclean spirit is in a man who attended the local synagogue.

Like I said at the beginning of this broadcast, Satan is very interested in organised religion. “Let us [plural] alone [verse 34]; what have we [plural] to do with thee?”

Devils [plural] in one man; an unclean devil [singular]. But the unclean devil speaks out with a loud voice and says more time, “what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?”

They knew who he was, and they are terrified because He one day is going to cast them into the lake of fire. They also speak with a loud voice, which I told you last time in reference to Elisabeth, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke with a loud voice. And here, the unclean spirit is going to counterfeit the Holy Spirit and speak with a loud voice. So nobody could miss it: I know who you are, the Holy One of God. Incredible!

Chapter 4, verse 35: “And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.”

He left the Lord for a season in verse 13, and here he is back in verse 35 indirectly, to thwart the Lord’s ministry. The devils went into overtime when the Lord Jesus Christ came onto the earth.

Chapter 4, verse 36: “And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

Only God can do this, my friends. The apostles could as well, but they are now all dead. So, if you are ever afflicted by the devil, go to the Lord God of the Bible and cry out to Him.

And if you really need to, verse 8 one more time, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

But here, the devil comes out of the man and does not hurt him because Jesus Christ has power and authority over Satan and all of the unclean spirits.

Chapter 4, verse 37: “And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.”

You can imagine it! People would have been speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ all over the Roman Empire, as it was at that time.

Chapter 4, verse 38: “And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.”

This fever, I believe, is somehow related to the devils found in the earlier verses. She, of course, is the mother of the wife of Peter. Peter was quite possibly the oldest of the apostles, and most certainly the weakest of all of the apostles as well. Hence, why the Lord spent so much time with him.

Chapter 4, verse 39: “And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.”

So, for me, these devils were indirectly related to the incident in the synagogue.

Chapter 4, verse 40: “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.”

Those that came forward to be healed were always healed, and they were healed immediately. No “come back tomorrow,” no “come back next week,” “no come back next month” to be sure of your healing! Those that came to be healed were healed straight away.

You don’t find that today, but He had the authority to heal instantaneously, as did the apostles and some of their associates. But today “the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Why were the apostles equipped to do this? Because they were the writers of the New Testament. Once the New Testament had been written, their gifts started to cease.

Paul almost became blind before he died, and had to rely on scribes to write down his words. Timothy had an ulcer which lasted for many years, and he too had to take wine to alleviate the pain. Paul wasn’t healed; Timothy wasn’t healed. The gift of healing had ceased by that time.

Chapter 4, verse 41: “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.”

Of course, they did. They knew He was the Creator of the universe, and they’ve been possessing many for such a long time, and it took a Great Deliverer to come to earth to heal mankind, not just of their sin, but to deliver them from unclean spirits.

Chapter 4, verses 42-44: “And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.”

They wanted Him to stay. They wanted to experience more of His glory and wonderful words and His doctrine, but he says: I have to preach to other cities also. He was on a very strict timetable, just 3 1/2 years. But His ministry, His goal, His ultimate reason for coming to the earth was to arrive in Jerusalem 30 A.D. to die for the sins of the world.

Next up, Luke chapter 5.

CHAPTER 5

Chapter 5, verses 1-2: “And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.”

What a great way to start Luke chapter 5! The people are pressing upon him to hear the word of God. And here the eternal Word of God is about to preach the word of God to the people of Israel.

Verse 3:

Chapter 5, verse 3: “And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.”

Jesus Christ is called the Captain of our salvation, and here He has decided to board a ship to preach to the people. He didn’t lock himself away in synagogues or the temple every day of the week. He went out and about into the highways and the byways to preach the word of God to everyday people.

For those of us living today that are born again, we too must follow the example here of the Master.

Verse 4:

Chapter 5, verses 4-5: “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”

Simon was a professional fisherman, and here he is humbly bowed down to the will of God and said, Lord, if you will, I will do as you have commanded me. That took great humility, and great faith as well.

Look at verse 6:

Chapter 5, verse 6: “And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”

The Saviour of the world told us He would never leave us nor forsake us, and if we prayed in the will of God, our prayers would be answered.

But here the Lord is demonstrating that sometimes you have to live by faith in order to receive a great blessing. Peter and his brother were full-time professional fishermen, and they had partners that worked alongside them as well. As I said, it took great faith and humility for Peter to bow down to the will of the Master, and it paid off! Their net broke. They had so many fishes, they probably didn’t know what to do with them.

But look at verse 7:

Chapter 5, verse 7: “And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.”

As I say, here they are given an abundance of food. When people come up to me in the streets and so on: “Why does God allow so many people around the world to starve? To go into dehydration sometimes? Why is there famine all around the world?” I tell them quite simply that there is enough food to go around the world ten times over for every man, woman and child, but because of greedy governments, they want a greater profit and sometimes when they won’t or cannot reach the quota, when they can’t reach the level of profit that they would like to receive, they throw good food into the sea. It’s down primarily to the greediness and selfishness of mankind.

But here the living Saviour, the living Word of God, has done one of His first major miracles in the Gospel of Luke. And He’s doing it to increase the faith of Peter, his brother and the rest of his associates. And of course, we mustn’t forget how the Jews are entitled to receive a sign from heaven.

Verse 8:

Chapter 5, verse 8: “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

When man came into the presence of Deity, once his heart had been prepared by the Holy Ghost to receive an intimate audience, revelation, experience of Deity, man instantly saw his sin. And here Simon Peter says, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Abraham said he was dust and ashes. Isaiah said he was a man of unclean lips.

When you came into the presence of Deity, if you are born again, you too would have seen yourself as a filthy rag. Someone so unclean, someone so despicable, someone so worthy of Hell that it took the Lord God of the Bible to become a man and live the life that we cannot live and die in our place.

And just put yourself back into the shoes of Peter for a moment. He’s among his brother and his partners and quite possibly other fishermen, and he’s gone down on his knees in the presence of all these people and said, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

But praise be to God! Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). He is a loving Saviour. He loves you far more than you will ever love Him. And He understands all of your infirmities before you were even saved. Not only did He die for all of your past, present and future sins, but He knew what mistakes you would make. He knew what sins you would commit even after you believed on Him, and yet His atonement has covered everything!

How magnificent, how beautiful, how wonderful is the Saviour who we call the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 9:

Chapter 5, verses 9-10: “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, the Sons of Thunder, are also privileged to have experienced this incredible miracle. Jesus says, “Fear not”. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10) but “the fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25).

He’s saying: don’t fear, don’t worry because from now on, you will catch men, which means you will have to go out into the highways and the byways to reach mankind. We at this ministry go onto the streets nearly every day of the week. We preach the gospel, sometimes with a PA system, sometimes not. We always give out tracts, and most of the time we take our banner as well. We are soul winners.

These fishermen were disciplined men. They would rise up very early in the morning and sometimes spend not hours, but days at sea, which is a picture of soul winning. Winning souls to the Lord Jesus Christ takes time and patience and endurance. These things rarely come overnight. We’ve been out on the streets for 10 years now. I’ve been saved 12 years, and I’ve spoken to people 5, 6, 7, 8 years ago that have contacted us at our ministry and have told us that they are now born again thanks to what we told them all those years ago.

But here, He says “from henceforth [right now] thou shalt catch men.” Soul winners! Don’t just sit in the pews if you are a saved man or woman. Go into the highways and the byways! And if you are a professional preacher, if you are a career clergyman, and you have never preached on the streets, if you’ve never gone out seeking to reconcile man to God, which is what the Great Commission is, you need to start doing so right now because the Great Commission is for all born-again Bible-believing Christians.

Verse 11:

Chapter 5, verse 11: “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”

These were very wealthy lower middle class fishermen, and they decided from this moment on, they were going to turn around and follow the Lord, which is a type of repentance. A complete about-turn! A turning from unbelief to belief! And “they forsook all, and followed him.” What a great price they must have paid to do this! But something magnificent had just occurred in their lives. They were never going to be the same again.

Post-Acts chapter 1, these men never would board ships again and go out into Gennesaret or Galilee or this lake or the lake of Tiberias, or any lake for that matter. These men would turn the world upside down. And from Acts chapter 9, the greatest man that ever lived (being Paul of course) would join them. But for here and now, they are going to forsake everything and “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).

Please look at verse 12:

Chapter 5, verse 12: “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

He fell on his face, a picture of reverence. He did not fall backwards, which we find in John chapter 18, which pictures enemies of God. And you see some of these people going to these crusades, these so-called revival meetings around the world, where they fall backwards, and they’ve dubbed this “being slain in the Spirit”.

But here, when Deity came into the presence of mankind, when mankind was privileged to meet Deity, he fell on his face in reverence to being in the presence of Almighty God. He says: Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. You can do all things because you are all-powerful. This man had leprosy, an awful illness.

Look at verse 13:

Chapter 5, verse 13: “And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.”

We saw in chapter 4, verse 13, how Satan was synonymous with verse 13. And here in verse 13, we see leprosy being synonymous with something unclean. It’s quite possible that Satan was also behind this illness. Perhaps this individual had fallen into sin, and leprosy had come as a result of his sin. But here, the Lord touched him. He put forth His hand on him and said, “I will: be thou clean.”

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke the universe into being, and here by touching this man with leprosy, which was unheard of ‒ if you go back to the Old Testament, the high priest (and Jesus is our high Priest) wouldn’t have been allowed to touch anything unclean, let alone come into the presence of someone or something unclean ‒ but here, Jesus Christ wasn’t concerned about that because He came to reach the common man and woman on the street.

“And immediately [verse 13 again] the leprosy departed from him.” No “come back tomorrow”, no “come back next week”, no “come back next month for a checkup.” No! Immediately, straight way, this leprosy departed from him. He ‒ Jesus Christ ‒ was a great Miracle Maker.

If you go to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and look up the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find how He has done more miracles than anybody else. A secular book! And they are affirming that Jesus Christ, since the creation of the world up until the present time, is still number one when it comes to the great Miracle Maker!

Just yesterday I was speaking to some Muslims on the street, and they asked me, do I believe in the Quran? And I said, ”No, I don’t need it. I have the Bible. There’s nothing new, there’s nothing fresh in the Quran that we don’t have in the Bible.” And I said to them, “Jesus Christ did more miracles than Mohammed. He raised the dead, He walked on water, He gave sight to the blind, and He died for our sins. What did Mohammed do for us?” They couldn’t respond. They couldn’t answer me because they have no answer.

But here, Jesus Christ simply said, “ ‘I will: be thou clean.’ And immediately the leprosy departed from him.” What an amazing Creator! What a loving Saviour we have!

Verse 14:

Chapter 5, verse 14: “And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”

Here you find an indirect rebuke and an indirect witness to the priests, the Pharisees at the temple. These men were not believing Jews. They had a head knowledge of the Lord, but their hearts were far from Him. But they had been lost in tradition; they’d gone through from the Babylonian captivity. And as I said last time, they were very much puppet preachers, if you will, career clergy under the power and influence of Pilate and Herod.

And the Lord says: Go up to the temple and do as Moses commanded you. He wasn’t interested in people coming to find Him, to receive Him in that sense. He knew who He was coming for. And He was more interested here in this man going up to the temple and indirectly witnessing and rebuking these apostate individuals.

Verse 15:

Chapter 5, verse 15: “But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.”

You couldn’t stop this man from preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. When you got saved, you were full of the Holy Ghost. When I got saved, I was on cloud nine, as they say. I wrote to everyone that I knew and had ever known. I spoke to many people. I contacted pretty much everybody that I had known up until that time to tell them that I was born again. I was a changed man.

So, you can’t blame this individual for being so full of happiness and joy. But he was told, verse 14, nevertheless, to tell no man. But as I say, he went on his way broadcasting abroad what Jesus Christ had done for them. And Jesus, by His mercy, did heal those that came to be healed, even though He wasn’t wanting people to come to bow down to Him at this point of time (that will be the Second Coming), He received these people nevertheless.

Verse 16:

Chapter 5, verse 16: “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”

That term “wilderness” again. We found it back in the fourth chapter, and here He’s going to be a man of prayer. And I don’t pray enough. I’m a very busy man, I’m a soul winner, but I don’t pray enough. I have a heart for the lost, but I don’t pray enough. And here, Jesus Christ ‒ very God and very man ‒ prayed. From chapter 6, He prayed all night before He chose His apostles, and here He is setting an example for us. He did it back in Matthew chapter 3 when He was baptised by John the Baptist, and here He is praying in the wilderness.

Chapter 5, verse 17: “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Simply meaning, He was ready, He was prepared, He was willing at this point in time to heal those that were going to be coming forth to be healed. Even though the Pharisees, even though the scholars, the doctors of law, and the scribes were watching Him with hawkish eyes, He was happy, He was prepared to heal those that wanted to be healed.

Verse 18:

Chapter 5, verses 18-19: “And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.”

That took great faith. And it was also very dangerous. But this man, being lowered down in a couch, was desperate to be healed. He had the palsy, a serious, wicked debilitating illness, like leprosy. And he was lowered down through the roof with the help of his friends. Everybody would have come to see this, and again Jesus Christ, the great Healer, the great Miracle Maker, nothing was too impossible for him!

Verse 20:

Chapter 5, verse 20: “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, which is the most simplest form of the Greek language of the 1st century. This term “man” (you think of people that say “Hey, man, what’s happening, man?). And yet Jesus Christ is almost speaking the language of the street. He says, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” His sins had caused, quite possibly, the palsy to come on, and He says “thy sins [plural] are forgiven thee.”

Verse 21:

Chapter 5, verse 21: “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

Absolutely! We saw in chapter 4 Jesus Christ in dialogue with Satan, and He quotes the written word of God, and part of the Scripture which He quotes affirms His Deity. And here, these Pharisees and scribes, the religious fathers of their day, are quite right! “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

Verse 22:

Chapter 5, verse 22: “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?”

He is omniscient. He read their thoughts. He saw their hearts. He knew what was going on.

Chapter 5, verse 23: “Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?”

Well, of course, both are incredible! But again, He’s drawing out from these individuals the true problem here, which is unbelief.

Verse 24:

Chapter 5, verse 24: “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.”

The Son of Man has power upon the earth to forgive sins. The Son of Man is Lord of the temple, and the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Once more, He is affirming His deity, but it’s lost on these individuals.

Verse 25:

Chapter 5, verse 25: “And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.”

Absolutely! This man had met the living God, the one true God, Jehovah God. And he couldn’t restrain himself. He went on his way, glorifying God.

Verse 26:

Chapter 5, verse 26: “And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.”

It’s almost a paradox! They’re over the moon. They cannot believe what they’ve seen and heard, and yet at the same time they are fearful, which is quite normal. Because (one more time) if you come into the presence of Deity, you will be forever changed, whether you believe in the Lord God of the Bible or not.

I believe Pilate was forever changed, as was Herod. They weren’t saved. They both died (as far as I’m concerned) as unsaved men, but they were never the same after meeting the God-Man, Christ Jesus.

Verse 27:

Chapter 5, verses 27-28: “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him.”

Here, Levi was a tax collector, a very wealthy man, as was Peter and his brother, as was James and John. And he too was forever changed. He was also despised by his people because he was very much seen as a collaborator between the Romans and the Jews.

Verse 29:

Chapter 5, verses 29-32: “And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Unless you humble yourself as a child, and acknowledge that you are a sinner worthy of Hell, you will never be saved. It’s as simple as that.

But here, Levi pre his salvation kept company with publicans and sinners. All types of immoral people, and the Lord said, I’m happy to associate with these people because they need to be saved. They have come forward to be saved, which takes great courage and humility. To be associated with the Lord Jesus Christ in the 1st century meant you were ostracised by your community. And verse 32 one more time: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Everyone’s a sinner. If you’ve lied, you are a liar. If you’ve stolen something, you are a thief, and if you’ve ever hated anyone in your heart, you are a murderer according to the word of God. Humble yourself, if you’re not saved. He came to save you. He came to die for you, He came to reconcile you to God through the death that He would paid for your sins and my sins on the cross.

Also, I’ll say this very briefly, if I may, that these people that were associated with Levi, they were companions of his. And they came forth to hear the Saviour, to meet the Saviour and quite possibly to be saved by the words of the Saviour. He preached the word of God to them back in verse 1, and here He’s going to do it so again in Levi’s house, but of course the scribes and Pharisees don’t like this. They thought they had the keys to the kingdom. They thought that if you wanted to meet God, you had to go to the temple. Much like today, the Catholic Church believe that if you want to go to Heaven, you have to go to the Church of Rome and attended the mass each and every day, have your sins allegedly forgiven in order to go to Heaven. And Jesus Christ completely bypassed organised religion.

I said last time and I’ll say it again: how He chose someone like Simeon and Anna, two faithful Jewish people whose hearts were right and had been patiently awaiting the arrival of the Messiah.

He chose John the Baptist to baptise Him, not the high priest in the temple. That should say a lot to anyone living today who thinks that organised religion has something to offer you. God doesn’t work through organised religion. He came to fulfil the law. He came to save us from the law.

Verse 33:

Chapter 5, verse 33: “And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?”

John and his disciples had a limited understanding of the will of God. John’s ministry was very limited. He didn’t live for very long. Hence, why he was always praying along with his disciples. But Jesus had 3 1/2 years on the earth. He wasn’t restricted in the same way that John had been restricted. This term “to eat and drink” doesn’t mean they were eating inappropriate food or excessive food or drinking alcohol or getting drunk. Far from it! They were simply more at ease, because Jesus Christ being God and man knew exactly what was happening and how much time he had on the earth.

Verse 34:

Chapter 5, verses 34-35: “And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”

Absolutely! As long as the Bridegroom was with them, everything was fine. But once He ‒ the bridegroom, being Jesus Christ of course ‒ had been taken away from them, then they’d be fasting and praying. Everything at that point in time would change. But for here and now, He’s got at least three years ahead of Him before His death on the cross in Calvary.

Chapter 5, verses 36-39: “And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”

In reference, of course, to the fulfilment of the Old Covenant and the initiation of the New Covenant. Everything we have read so far up until this point in the book of Luke is still very much Jewish teachings to the Jewish people. The New Covenant was not initiated until the death of the Lord Jesus Christ and resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next up, Luke chapter 6.

CHAPTER 6

Chapter 6, verses 1-5: “And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

He had found the Pharisees taking the place of the self-righteous legalistic brigade of today, known primarily as Lordship salvation. And here, this is very interesting, because the Lord Jesus quotes King David from 1 Samuel 21, and David, of course, is a type of Christ.

And if you go back to 1 Samuel and read it very carefully, you find David on the run from King Saul, who is a type of the Antichrist.

In verse 5, in case you missed it, the Lord Jesus says how He ‒ the Son of Man ‒ is Lord also of the Sabbath. Once again He is affirming His deity. He gave the Sabbath to man; man was not made for the Sabbath, and the Sabbath, quite simply, is from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, given primarily to the Jews living under the Mosaic covenant.

But for here and today, for those of us which are born again, we keep the first day of the week, which is Sunday, because Jesus Christ came up out of the tomb on a Sunday, which pictures the New Covenant, whereas the Sabbath pictures the Old Covenant.

Chapter 6, verse 6: “And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.”

You can’t miss it! The Lord Jesus Christ came first and foremost to the Jews. “Salvation is of the Jews”, John chapter 4 (v. 22). And yet at the same time “He [Jesus] came unto his own [the Jews]” and yet his own (the Jews) did not receive Him (John 1:11). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12a).

Through the fall of Israel, we the Gentiles, we the Church have now been grafted in. And for here and now, during the Church age, we are the people of God. But our job is to make the Jews jealous. Our job is to pray and intercede for unbelieving Israel to believe on the Messiah.

But in verse 6, the Lord is going into the synagogue on a Sabbath to teach. He was a Jew of the Jews. He kept the Jewish Sabbath to a fine “T”. In fact, He fulfilled the law for us. That’s why He is our substitutionary atonement. But here, He finds a man whose right hand has been withered.

Look at verse 7:

Chapter 6, verse 7: “And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.”

It wasn’t sinful to heal on the Sabbath, but if you go back to the Old Testament, for the most part, miracles were very rare.

Reading through the Gospels, you find miracles left, right and centre. Why? Because the Lord of the universe has arrived in the world to preach against sin, to heal mankind from unclean spirits and to give those that believe on Him everlasting life. Hence, why the devils are working overtime to thwart Him.

But post-Acts chapter 16, the sign gifts start to drop off. Why? Because the apostles have written most, if not all, of the New Testament, excluding the Gospel of John, Revelation and some later Johannine writings and, therefore, the written word of God is in circulation. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

But here, the Lord is going into a synagogue to preach and teach and also to heal, but once again the scribes and the Pharisees, the religious fathers of their day, these lost “holy fathers”, these lost reverends in organised religion, are watching him, waiting to pounce and find an accusation against Him.

Verse 8:

Chapter 6, verse 8: “But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.”

That took faith and courage! To follow the Lord meant excommunication, and to follow the Lord could also mean loss of employment.

And also from verse 8, He (Jesus) knew their thoughts once again in reference to His deity. He knew the thoughts of mankind. He knew the hearts of unbelieving men and women. He, of course, is the God-Man.

You can’t miss these verses affirming time after time how He ‒ the Lord Jesus Christ ‒ is affirming deity. He was God and He was man at the same time.

Look at verse 9:

Chapter 6, verse 9: “Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?”

He’s very good at answering a question with a question, and even initiating a conversation when necessary.

Verse 10:

Chapter 6, verse 10: “And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”

Once again, the Lord has gone into a synagogue to preach and also to heal. We saw Him, last time, also in a synagogue casting an unclean spirit out of a man. For the most part, the Lord’s ministry was on the street, reaching out to everyday people. But at the same time, He has come to fulfil the law; hence, why we find Him teaching in the Jewish synagogue or in the Jewish Temple. And here, He has chosen to heal a man, whose right hand was withered, right under the eyes of the unbelieving scribes and Pharisees. Once again, a direct and indirect rebuke against organised religion and unbelieving Israel.

Verse 11:

Chapter 6, verse 11: “And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”

This is a conspiracy with a capital “C”, and it’s gone on for centuries. If you go back to the Old Testament, you find the people of Israel for the most part not only rejecting their priests and prophets and kings, but also rejecting the Lord God of the Bible.

Please turn to John chapter 11. Take a look at verse 47: “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.” These people were threatened totally by the Lord Jesus Christ. This council was called to decide what to do about the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you go through church history, and if you look up the famous church councils of Carthage or Nicaea or Trent, you find for the most part the subject of excommunication for those people that find themselves at odds with these councils, and also death.

Verse 48: “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” The Pharisees were most concerned about losing their power, privilege and standing.

The Roman Catholic Church launched the Spanish Inquisition (a period of over 600 years) under the orders of 80 popes which saw the death of over 50 million people because they too were scared about losing their power and privilege in the world. They did not want the people under them to turn from the papacy and be born again.

The Pharisees here did not want the people to turn from organised religion and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.

Verse 49: “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”

But look at verse 53: “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” Counsel and death are synonymous and here, one more time, organised religion has come together to conspire to put the Lord Jesus Christ to death. And also of interest to me, verses 49 down to 52, how Caiaphas (an unsaved Pharisee) has just prophesied via the Holy Ghost, how the Lord Jesus Christ would die for the people and nation and “gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”

The Lord works in mysterious ways, and for the most part His ministry of reconciliation was totally lost on this group of Pharisees and scribes.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 6. Look at verse 12:

Chapter 6, verse 12: “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

God the Son is praying to God the Father, and I said last time how one of my weaknesses is that I don’t pray enough. But here the Lord prayed all night. He was buffeted almost from the cradle to the grave, and He too needed to rest and on this occasion He chose to find a mountain to pray all night to God. He’s going to choose His apostles.

Look at verse 13:

Chapter 6, verses 13-16: “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”

Judas Iscariot in Matthew and Mark is always listed in final place. He was the betrayer, a type of the Antichrist. And yet the Lord, through His own will, decided to call this man, who according to John chapter 6 was a devil. It’s a paradox, it’s a mystery and yet at the same time, this man had a free will. He could have gone either way, and yet the Lord knew through foreknowledge that Judas Iscariot would betray Him. He would become the traitor, and here the Lord Jesus Christ has spent all night in prayer to God deciding which of the 70-plus men were going to be His final 12 apostles, which means they were sent. An apostle has been sent by the Lord Jesus Christ. There are no apostles today. There are no prophets today. There are only disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ today.

And I will just add a quick final footnote in reference to the apostles. These men were chosen in time, not for their salvation but for their service. The Lord, one more time, prayed all night to the Father to decide which of the 70-plus men were going to be called His apostles. They were chosen for service, not salvation.

Verse 17:

Chapter 6, verses 17-18: “And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.”

Those that came to be healed of the Lord Jesus Christ were always healed. If you come across so-called healers today that go around the world healing (and people go to their crusades sick and leave sick) and these healers (so-called) have the audacity to turn around and say that those that went to be healed did not have enough faith to be healed and should not only be ashamed of themselves, but that should be proof, in and of itself, how they are not of God. Those that came to be healed were always healed by the Lord and His apostles. Today’s so-called healers are fakes. They are not of God.

Verse 19:

Chapter 6, verse 19: “And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.”

All without exception were healed. One more time: those that came to be healed were always, without exception, healed. You won’t find this anywhere in the world today.

Verse 20:

Chapter 6, verse 20: “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”

The physical kingdom at the Second Coming! But for here and now, we live in a spiritual kingdom. And this reference to being poor could be a physical poorness, a literal poorness, a financial poorness. But at the same time, it could also be a spiritual poorness. You are poor in spirit, and He says: blessing are you that yours is the kingdom of God. Salvation for these people living here and there, and salvation for us today!

Chapter 6, verse 21: “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.”

It’s good to laugh, and it’s also good to weep. Weep over your sins and laugh at the same time. Hunger could be a physical hunger, but more likely to be a spiritual hunger. You are hungering for the kingdom of God to arrive. You are hungering for a greater sense of holiness and for a greater understanding of the word of God.

Verse 22:

Chapter 6, verse 22: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”

This is happening every day of the week, not just in the Middle East where Muslims are becoming Christians, but even in the West. Saved people in the West are suffering because they love the Lord Jesus Christ. People are separating them from their company, in their families, in their workplace and among their friends and associates.

It will cost you something to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and to take a public stand for Him.

Verse 23:

Chapter 6, verse 23: “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”

Here, He is really speaking to Israel, but at the same time we can take this to be a spiritual application for those of us living today.

Verse 24:

Chapter 6, verse 24: “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.”

These people could have been financially wealthy, and yet at the same time they could have been spiritually wealthy, at least in their own eyes. They could have had an appearance of being self-sufficient, but in reality they were barren. And He says “ye have received your consolation.”

Chapter 6, verse 25: “Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.”

Some people give the appearance of having everything, and some people seem to have an abundance of everything. And for some people, life seems to have been very good to them. But the Lord says “ye [plural] shall mourn and weep.” The day is coming when you will hunger.

Verse 26:

Chapter 6, verse 26: “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

When a famous so-called Christian dies, just listen out for the words of unsaved politicians, pop stars, or even members of the Royal Family. When a pope dies, you’ll be amazed how much praise he receives. But this is nothing new! The Lord said this happened to the false prophets in the Old Testament. Birds of a feather flock together! The world love their own.

Verse 27:

Chapter 6, verses 27-28: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”

Never return evil for evil! Love those that despise you. Pray for those that come against you. The Lord Jesus Christ did so, and we too are expected to follow His example.

Chapter 6, verse 29: “And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.”

This is really in reference to soul-winning. Those of us that go on the streets will be spoken to in a harsh way. We may be buffeted, we may be pushed, we may be spat on. We may even possibly be physically assaulted.

This is not in reference to a nation’s security but a Christian’s testimony, a Christian’s witness to the world. And He says here: turn the other cheek.

The Lord Jesus Christ took physical abuse. He was physically assaulted, and He turned the other cheek. The apostles were also physically harmed, and they did not fight back. So here, if you are a soul-winner, you are expected to turn the other cheek and yet at the same time, I do believe you are entitled to defend yourself, within reason of course. You’re not to be a brawler; you’re not expected to go out and be physically violent.

Chapter 6, verses 30-31: “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

This is really primarily Old Testament teachings for the most part, and yet at the same time we can take a spiritual application from this. Some Christian dispensationalists believe this primarily in reference to the Millennial reign, but at the same time I still believe that some of this can be taken in a spiritual sense.

If you’re able to give an item of clothing to someone who wants it, let him or her have it. Why do you need it if they need it more than you? You should be prepared to put the needs of others before yourself.

Verse 32:

Chapter 6, verse 32: “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.”

You have to be different from unsaved people.

Verse 33:

Chapter 6, verse 33: “And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.”

A saved man or woman should be very different to an unsaved man or woman. This isn’t rocket science, and I still believe we can take much spiritual application from these verses.

Verse 34:

Chapter 6, verse 34: “And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.”

Mankind is very greedy. The banks are very good at putting interest on a loan, and here the Lord is calling for those that are going to follow Him to be different.

Verse 35:

Chapter 6, verse 35: “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

He does love the world, but His love is conditional. And here, you were told once again to love your enemies and to do good and to lend, hoping for nothing again. And yes, we appreciate, of course, that the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to the Jews under the law, with a futuristic application, in reference, of course, to the Millennial reign. I don’t dispute that, but at the same time I still think we can take much from these verses and apply it, spiritually of course, to us living today in the Church age.

And at the same time, what you won’t find in these verses is the plan of salvation. To keep these verses will not save you. These verses are primarily dealing with works once a person has been saved.

Verse 36:

Chapter 6, verse 36: “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”

God is not your Father until you are born again. Jesus Christ is speaking to the Jews under the law. Technically, God was their Father, but at the same time many of them did not even know God as their Father. They were spiritual Jews, but their hearts had not been circumcised.

So, be careful when you read these verses how you apply it, how you practice it, how you preach these verses to others.

Verse 37:

Chapter 6, verses 37-38: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Matthew chapter 7 speaks against hypocritical judging. If you were to judge person A, B or C for a particular sin that you are committing, that is condemned in Scripture! The same sort of language is found here.

Verse 39:

Chapter 6, verse 39: “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?”

Of course! Sort yourself out first, and then you will be able to assist another party.

Verse 40:

Chapter 6, verse 40: “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”

The popes of Rome are very good at living in castles, as are many televangelists, as are many so-called Protestant scholars. But here, the disciple is not above his master in reference, of course, to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We follow His example, but of course we will always fail because we are human. But we desire to be like Him. He lived a very simple and humble life. And for those of us which are born again, we too must try to follow His example, to be a good testimony to the lost, and also to encourage the brethren.

Verse 41:

Chapter 6, verse 41: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Back to Matthew chapter 7 and also Revelation chapter 2. In fact, judgement throughout the Old and New Testament is upheld, providing it’s not hypocritical judgement. But deal with the beam in your own eye before dealing with the mote that’s in your brother’s eye. In other words, put your house in order before you step in and offer advice to a brother or sister.

Verse 42:

Chapter 6, verse 42: “Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.”

Righteous judgement is upheld in both Testaments, but we saw from verse 39 how the blind lead the blind, and they both fall into the ditch. So verse 42 follows on from verse 39. Deal with the sin in your own life before offering to deal with the sin in someone else’s life. This is common sense. This is why we can take this in a spiritual sense.

Verse 43:

Chapter 6, verses 43-45: “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

This very much pictures a saved man and an unsaved man. A good man will have a good testimony, and he will be a good tree. An evil man will have an ungodly testimony, and his fruit is evil.

At the same time, you cannot take these verses to somehow prove that a saved man or woman does not have an old nature, after they are saved, of course, because we discover very clearly in Philippians chapter 3 and Romans chapter 7 how a saved party will continue to battle their old nature right up until the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 46:

Chapter 6, verse 46: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

In Matthew chapter 7, the Lord Jesus Christ goes on to say that those that do the will of His Father are His people, are His brethren, and the will of the Father according to John chapter 6 is to believe on Him.

Verse 47:

Chapter 6, verses 47-49: “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”

The rock in verse 28 is Jesus Christ, of course. To build on Jesus Christ means you will always have a sure and a solid and a permanent foundation. But the earth in verse 49 is like the sand found in Matthew chapter 7, and Cephas in Aramaic means “sand.” Simon Peter in Aramaic means “sand.” So, don’t build your foundation on Simon Peter, the so-called first pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Build your foundation on the Lord Jesus Christ.

CHAPTER 7

Chapter 7, verse 1: “Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.”

If you were to be granted an audience with the Queen or the Prime Minister or a popstar or a movie star or someone of great importance, you would never forget it.

And here, these people had experienced an audience with the Lord Jesus Christ. Something you would never forget! And yet at the same time, many people believed on Him, but by Acts chapter 1, only 120 people lasted the course.

Verse 2:

Chapter 7, verses 2-3: “And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.”

Whether you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ or not, He was well known for being the great Miracle-maker. He healed people left, right and centre.

And here, a servant of a centurion was sick and ready to die. The ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was to heal those that were sick, to give salvation to those that would receive it, and also to preach the gospel.

He was first and foremost sent to the Jews, but here His ministry has taken a slight diversion. This centurion was a Gentile who no doubt converted to Judaism; hence, why the Jews have approached the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look at verse 4:

Chapter 7, verses 4-5: “And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.”

You can never love the Jews enough. You were told to stand with Israel; you were told to pray for Israel.

Look at verse 6:

Chapter 7, verses 6-7: “Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.”

This man was very humble, and at the same time he saw his sin. He says: I’m not worthy to come to you. In fact, you are not worthy to even enter into my house, but thanks be to God. For the Lord God of the Bible took on human form and came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)!

He says in verse 7: just say a word and my servant shall be healed. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God” (John 1:1a). “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). He spoke the universe into being, and here he’s saying: just say a word and my servant shall be healed.

Verse 8:

Chapter 7, verses 8-9: “For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

There’s a rebuke to unbelieving Israel. This man, as I say, was a Gentile who converted to Judaism. And the Lord is commending this man for his faith, for his humility and for his love for the people of Israel and vicariously for the Lord God of the Bible.

Verse 10:

Chapter 7, verse 10: “And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.”

The word of the Lord is powerful. The written word of the Lord transforms the souls of mankind. And here, the spoken word of the Lord Jesus Christ has healed a servant of this centurion.

The will of the Lord is to save mankind from his sin, and here the will of the Lord was to heal this centurion’s servant. And no doubt, salvation came to the house of this centurion and also his servant. Also from verses 1 down to 10, we find a picture of the Lord’s ministry to the Gentiles as well.

In John chapter 10, He speaks about having other sheep that are not yet of His flock, in reference to the Gentiles, of course. But for the most part, the first seven chapters of the Gospel of Luke are looking primarily at the Jewish Messiah coming to the people of Israel to heal them and to grant them everlasting life, if they would believe on Him.

And here, this centurion has humbled himself, and the Lord Jesus Christ has commended him for doing so.

Verse 11:

Chapter 7, verse 11: “And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.”

We saw it very clearly in chapter 6 how the Lord Jesus Christ had at least 70-plus men that He could have called upon to become his 12 apostles, and in the end He chose 12 from the 70. And I believe that Dr Luke, the writer of the Gospel of Luke, was one of the 70.

But here, His ministry has gone from Capernaum in verse 1 to Nain in verse 11.

Verse 12:

Chapter 7, verses 12-15: “Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.”

This man was dead. He wasn’t resuscitated, he was resurrected! There was no faith here on the part of the man or even on his mother. The Lord Jesus Christ took it upon Himself to resurrect this dead man. Sometimes people say you need to have faith in order to be healed. This is clearly not the case, but you do need faith in order to be saved.

Verse 16:

Chapter 7, verse 16: “And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.”

Emmanuel, meaning “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), and here they’re not far in recognising that Jesus Christ was a great prophet. But He’s far more than just a prophet. He’s also the Son of God. And also from here, this term “fear” once again almost pictures a paradox, but “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). So, to be fearful here is quite understandable because the Lord God of the Bible, the only true God in the universe, has stepped into time and healed a man right under the eyes of the people of Israel.

But “they glorified God” which was the point of the miracle, saying that God had visited His people.

Verse 17:

Chapter 7, verse 17: “And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.”

The reputation of the Lord Jesus Christ was known abroad. Herod knew who He was, Pilate knew who He was, and I believe the apostle Paul also knew who He was.

But at this point in the Lord’s ministry, He is not interested in being made the King of the Jews or coming as the Son of David. That will be at the Second Coming!

At this point in time, He’s coming to seek and to save that which was lost, and He’s coming to suffer and eventually die for the sins of Israel.

If you back to the Old Testament, the prophets (when they wrote about the coming Messiah) couldn’t and did not distinguish between the First and Second Coming. And the reason why the Jews could not understand the difference between the First and Second Coming was because the Lord Jesus Christ was rejected by the Jews on the cross, and He was rejected again in Acts chapter 7. So, the Lord (via the apostles) turned to the Gentiles.

Verse 18:

Chapter 7, verse 18: “And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.”

They too knew what the Lord Jesus Christ was doing, and by this point in time John is being held in jail, awaiting death.

Verse 19:

Chapter 7, verse 19: “And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

They too couldn’t understand the difference between the First Coming and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were expecting the Lord Jesus Christ to overthrow the Roman Empire and to initiate His literal Davidic kingdom. Hence, why John is saying to the Lord Jesus Christ: are you the one that should come or should we be looking for another?

At the same time, there’s a picture here of John being slightly offended because he had a great ministry up until the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ. But I showed you last time how John’s ministry and understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ was limited.

Verse 20:

Chapter 7, verse 20: “When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?”

They too, like John the Baptist, did not really understand the Lord’s ministry.

Son of Joseph ‒ First Coming. Son of David ‒ Second Coming.

Verse 21:

Chapter 7, verse 21: “And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.”

He’s now going to do miracles in the presence of the disciples of John, to strengthen them and also to strengthen John’s faith, who was perhaps hours away from being martyred.

Verse 22:

Chapter 7, verses 22-23: “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”

There’s a picture, one more time, of John being slightly ashamed or offended in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. John wasn’t perfect; he was a sinner. And here his cousin ‒ his second cousin, to be precise ‒ is going to die for the sins of John the Baptist.

But look at verse 22 one time: “the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.” Who else in the history of the world has ever done miracles such as this?

You will struggle to find anyone that comes anywhere near the ministry and person and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ. John told us how he was not worthy to tie the shoes of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet here, at the same time, he is awaiting death and he is confused as to who the Lord Jesus Christ truly is.

His understanding was limited, as was Mary’s, the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. And you know what? He understands our infirmities. He understands our failure to grasp just who He is.

And the apostles were asking to increase their faith, to open the Scriptures to them. For us living today, we can call on the name of the Lord and we can ask Him to open the Scriptures to us, to really reveal the written word of God and the power of the Scripture.

Also from verse 23, this expression “to be offended” or to be ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in 2 Timothy chapter 2. Take a look at verse 11, please. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”

Here, the apostle Paul makes it very clear that those of us that have died with Him ‒ meaning we have died to ourselves, we were buried with Him and later resurrected ‒ are also going to live with Him physically and literally. For here and now, we are living with Him spiritually in the kingdom of God but we’re going to live with Him practically and literally at the Second Coming.

But he goes on to say in verse 12, if we suffer as Christians “we shall also reign with him” in reference to the Millennial Kingdom, of course. But “if we deny him, he also will deny us” in reference to the Millennial Kingdom. Many of us are not going to go into the Millennial Kingdom.

But verse 13: “if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” Whatever mistake you make, He cannot deny Himself. If you are born again, you will always be born again. “Once saved, always saved” or “If saved, always saved” is something that I very much believe.

John wasn’t chastised for this moment of weakness, but at the same time, the Lord Jesus Christ took his doubts, his fears and turned it into a blessing.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 7, verse 23 one more time: “and blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.”

Timothy was ashamed at the ministry and testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Paul dealt with that, and Timothy would go on to do great things for the Lord Jesus Christ. From time to time Christians are going to be offended at the person and ministry and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s understandable, but at the same time, if it becomes an ongoing problem, you need to repent and come back to your first love.

Verse 24:

Chapter 7, verses 24-26: “And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.”

Now the Lord Jesus Christ is turning to the people, because perhaps they too had doubts and concerns as to the person and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But take a look at verse 25 again, please: “But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts.”

The Lord Jesus Christ was King of the Jews, but He certainly did not live in a palace, a castle. He dressed like everybody else dressed. And today, you have people going around wearing a dog collar, mitre on their head, and a long robe. He would never have dressed like that. He was one of the people.

“But what went ye out for to see? [verse 26] A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.”

Here, He is affirming that He is a prophet but much more than a prophet. But again, He dressed like everybody else dressed, and He most certainly did not live like royalty.

He denied Himself, as you too must do to become a faithful disciple. Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and put others before you.

Verse 27:

Chapter 7, verse 27: “This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is now quoting Malachi chapter 3, in reference to John the Baptist’s arrival to prepare a way for the Lord God, Jehovah God. Jesus Christ is, one more time, affirming deity.

Verse 28:

Chapter 7, verse 28: “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Why? Because John the Baptist preached about the kingdom of God, but those that believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, thanks to John the Baptist, went into the kingdom of God and became greater than John the Baptist. He was martyred. He did not see the physical arrival of the kingdom of God. But those that believed on John and got saved through the ministry of John the Baptist became greater, thanks to the ministry of John the Baptist.

So one more time, the Lord Jesus Christ is commending John for his ministry and doing what he did so faithfully, and at the same time He is warning people about unbelief and failure to understand the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 29:

Chapter 7, verse 29: “And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.”

Many came to be baptised. Many believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, but by Acts chapter 1, only 120 people were in the upper room with the apostles and disciples and Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, who interestingly is listed in 13th place. She was not the Queen of Heaven; she was a remarkable woman. But she was waiting very patiently with the apostles, in Acts chapter 1, for the Holy Spirit to fall on her, because she too was a recipient of grace, not a dispenser.

But these verses ‒ if I was to sum them up in reference to John’s ministry and his failure at times to understand the two comings of the Lord Jesus Christ ‒ is quite understandable. And the Lord Jesus Christ took John’s inability to fully comprehend His ministry and turned it into a blessing for John. He commends John in verse 28: among those which have been born of women, there is none greater than John the Baptist. What a remarkable thing to say concerning His second cousin!

At the same time, those that believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, thanks to His second cousin, are greater than John the Baptist.

But look at verse 30:

Chapter 7, verse 30: “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.”

Through their free will, they decided not to be baptised by John in the River Jordan in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah. That’s their own free will. Yes, it was known, of course, back in the Old Testament through the foreknowledge of Almighty God. But they rejected Jesus Christ in time, through their own free will, found very clearly seen here in verse 30.

Verse 31:

Chapter 7, verses 31-35: “And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.”

Jesus Christ has taken their own literal words and used them against themselves. In Matthew chapter 12, He said every word would be heard and every word and deed would be presented to the Lord God of the Bible at the Great White Throne Judgement. By your words you are justified, and by your words you are condemned.

These self-righteous and ungodly Pharisees in verse 33 thought that John the Baptist had a devil. They also thought the same about the Lord Jesus Christ. By verse 34, they said Jesus Christ was a gluttonous man and a winebibber. Why? Because He was friends with publicans and sinners, but He wasn’t a gluttonous man and He wasn’t a winebibber. He associated with those that wanted to be associated with Him, but the Pharisees despised it, because one more time, they felt threatened by the Lord’s ministry. In their minds, they thought that if people believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, that they (the Pharisees) would lose their standing and privileges among the nation of Israel from the Romans and, of course, from the temple. They couldn’t comprehend, in a sense, being out of business, but the Lord Jesus Christ did not come to abolish the law. He came to fulfil the law!

The law was only a temporary aspect in the plan of the Lord God of the Bible reaching out to mankind to save mankind. The law simply pointed man to his sin and need of a Saviour, but the Pharisees could not see it, as the priests of Rome today cannot see it, as the vicars of the Church of England cannot see it, as the men and women in the Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ or the Watchtower in Brooklyn cannot see it either.

Salvation, if you did not know, is in a person: Jesus Christ. Not in a system!

And from verse 31 down to 34, we discover again the omniscience of the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows your thoughts. He sees your deeds. Nothing gets past Him, and here He is taking the words and thoughts of the unbelieving Pharisees, scribes and lawyers, and He has turned them against them.

Like the Bible, everything that we read on many occasions covers some pretty minute details. Nothing gets past God, and the same will be true at the Great White Throne Judgement. Nothing will get past God.

Verse 36:

Chapter 7, verses 36-50: “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

Verses 36 down to 50 clearly outline how justification in the sight of men produces works, whereas justification in the sight of God produces salvation.

Please turn to 1 Samuel chapter 16. Look at verse 7, please.

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

Here, we discover that Samuel has been sent to the house of Jesse, the father of King David. And Samuel had no idea which one the Lord had chosen to be the future king of Israel, and here the Lord God makes it very clear how the Lord sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance (in reference to one’s works) whereas the Lord looks on the heart.

Please turn to Romans chapter 4. Look at verse 1:

“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

He believed, he received and he was justified. He was exonerated in the presence of God.

Verse 4:

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

“God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13), and God sees the heart of the repentant sinner. And only God sees the heart of the repentant sinner. And God saves that sinner by believing on the Lord God of the Bible. And here Abraham believed on the Lord God of the Bible, and the Lord saw his faith and counted it to him for righteousness.

Please turn to James chapter 2. Look at verse 21: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” Abraham’s been saved pre this description of Abraham about to offer his son up on the altar. Justification by works in the sight of men, i.e., Abraham’s servants, i.e. Abraham’s son Isaac.

Verse 22: “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” His faith produced works. Works on their own will not save you. Once you are born again, your faith will produce works, which is proof that you are born again.

Ephesians chapter 2 tells us how we have been saved by grace and that not of ourselves but how we have been saved unto good works after we are saved.

So, go back to Luke chapter 7 very briefly, and verses 36 down to 50 picture a woman who has been saved for a period of time, and her faith has drawn her unto the Lord. And she walks into the room of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Pharisee and his guest, which would have taken great faith, and she has sat down and wept and washed His feet with tears and wiped them with the hairs of the her head and kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment.

That took great faith and humility! The Pharisees were incredulous because she was a sinner, an immoral woman. But she was a saved sinner, and He says in verse 50: “Thy faith hath saved thee”. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). She believed on Him, and her faith produced these works. And He says “go in peace”. P‑E‑A‑C‑E. We have peace with God through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Romans 5:1).

Next up, Luke 8.

CHAPTER 8

Chapter 8, verses 1-3: “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”

The Lord Jesus Christ was a travelling rabbi, and according to 1 Corinthians chapter 9, He was entitled to financial support. Today, that would be the equivalent of supporting a frontline Bible-believing ministry.

And here, Mary called Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her. Not five devils, not six levels, but seven devils. The attention to detail once again reflects just how thorough the Lord is going to be at the Judgement Seat of Christ for the born-again Bible believer or the Great White Throne Judgement for the unsaved man or woman. She was possessed, and the Lord Jesus Christ delivered her.

Also from verse 3, Joanna the wife of Chuza (who was Herod’s steward) was a believer. The Lord’s ministry had penetrated right up to the office of Herod. But there’s no evidence to suggest that Joanna’s husband was saved. Only she was saved, along with Susanna.

But the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. All of the apostles but one departed. But the women were faithful right up until the end.

When the Lord Jesus Christ came up out of the tomb, the first person that saw Him was Mary Magdalene, not “pope Peter” and not “Mary, the Queen of Heaven.” It was Mary Magdalene who saw the risen Christ first of all.

The twelve from verse 1 are the apostles, of course. And if you missed it from verse 1, the Lord Jesus Christ, once again, is out and about on the streets. He’s going from city to city, village to village.

His ministry was out and about in the open. He did nothing in secret, unlike the Freemasons, unlike all secret societies. He was about as transparent as one could possibly be.

Verse 4:

Chapter 8, verses 4-8: “And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

The reason for the parable, for the most part, was because those that were in the proximity of the Lord Jesus Christ were unbelieving Jews, Pharisees, scribes, enemies of the cross.

But His message really will be for the apostles and for those that are going to believe on Him.

Verse 9:

Chapter 8, verse 9: “And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?”

The apostles were not infallible. Papal infallibility is a myth. It’s a farce. It’s a heresy!

And here, the apostles needed the Master to expound the Scripture to them.

Look at verse 10:

Chapter 8, verse 10: “And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”

This goes back to the Old Testament, Jeremiah and Isaiah to be precise, which spoke, which prophesized about the blindness of Israel.

And if you are on the streets today and you meet someone and you speak to that person and they cannot receive the message or they will not receive the message, then perhaps the message of God is not for them either. Maybe they too have been blinded. Maybe they have been handed over to Satan, Ephesians chapter 4.

But at the same time, you have to pray for those people and then move on to somebody else who wants to hear the gospel, who is interested in the things of God! Your time is precious. And here the Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear how the apostles had been chosen to receive the message, but those outside of His inner circle had not been chosen to receive the message.

Verse 11:

Chapter 8, verses 11-12: “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

Satan’s job is to destroy Bible-believing Christians. He can’t succeed at that because the Lord Jesus Christ, as our high Priest, is praying for us all of the time. So it’s even more important for those of us which are saved to pray for other potential believers, because Satan and his minions will do all they can to take away the seed that has been planted by the sower, being of course the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look at verse 13:

Chapter 8, verses 13-15: “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

Verses 13 down to 15, as far as I am concerned, can be applied spiritually to Christians in the Church age today. You need to make your calling and election sure. Make sure you have truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Make sure you have truly understood what He did for us on the cross. Examine yourself in light of Scripture.

Never lose the simplicity of Christ, and once you are born again, continue to walk with Him in the Spirit. Read the word of God each and every day. Lose unsaved family and friends if necessary.

Grow in grace, and all the things of the world will evaporate before your very eyes.

Also, before I move on to verse 16, please turn to Deuteronomy 32. Look at verse 4: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”

The rock here is in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul spoke about the rock of salvation. King David followed the rock. Matthew chapter 7, the Lord spoke about building your house on the rock, in reference of course to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Take a look at verse 31: “For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.”

Their rock is not our Rock. Lowercase “r” in reference quite possibly and prophetically, to Simon Peter, the so-called first pope of Rome. Their rock ‒lowercase “r”‒ is not as our Rock ‒capital “R”‒ in reference to Jesus Christ.

“Their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah”, in reference to the mass of the Roman Catholic Church.

Jump down to verse 37 please: “And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.”

Your gods! Where are they? Your rock in whom you trusted! The gods, I believe, could be in reference to the saints of the Roman Catholic Church. “We have Mary! We have the mass! We have the pope! We have St. Christopher, we have St. Jude, we have St. Catherine praying for us!”

And the Lord says here, rather sarcastically: where are your gods and the rock in whom you trusted? In reference, I believe, quite possibly to Simon Peter. He goes on to say in verse 38: “which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings” in reference to the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and in reference to the communion, the so-called body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Their “mass” so-called ‒transubstantiation, as they like to call it‒ they believe that the priest can call Jesus Christ, whenever he wishes to, to sacrifice Christ afresh. And here, Deuteronomy 32 (I believe) is speaking about this type of heresy. But this rock here is condemned as being a false rock. The true rock is Jesus Christ, not Simon Peter.

Please turn back to chapter 8, verse 16:

Chapter 8, verses 16-17: “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”

As a Bible-believing Christian, your testimony should shine! Once you are born-again, you wanted the whole world to know about your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your love for the written word of God.

So, in a nutshell, verses 16 and 17 simply refer to the fact that there are no “Secret Service” Bible-believing Christians. Eventually, you will open your mouth and you will preach the gospel to your friends, family, neighbours, or even co-workers.

Verse 18:

Chapter 8, verse 18: “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”

It’s a paradox, and yet it is very true.

Verse 19:

Chapter 8, verse 19: “Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.”

Mother Mary and His brothers have arrived, and yet Mary as His mother could not even get to him because of the press. The people, of course, are gathering around Him. This term “Mother Mary” is used by the Roman Catholics in reference to their adoration of her. But she is never once called “Mother Mary.” She’s called “woman,” and here she is called His mother. And His brethren ‒His brothers and sisters too‒ are following her to see and to hear the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 20:

Chapter 8, verse 20: “And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.”

His own family were not given exclusive access to Him. They were standing outside, wanting to see Him.

Look at verse 21:

Chapter 8, verse 21: “And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”

No special place or privilege for His mother and brethren. “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God.” “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17) and do it, in reference to believing on Him (John chapter 6). Believing on Him as the Messiah, and trusting in Him as the Saviour, which at this point in time, His brothers were not quite ready to do.

But His mother was still grasping. His mother too was still growing in grace. She wasn’t infallible. She was not omnipresent or omniscient or omnipotent. She was just an ordinary woman. Fifteen when she gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ, and here several years have passed and she is still in her physical body. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Mary was no exception. She too needed a Saviour to save her, and she too needed her Son to grow her in grace.

Verse 22:

Chapter 8, verse 22: “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.”

Jesus Christ, once again, has found Himself entering into a ship. Captain of our salvation, and here picturing Captain Noah as well.

Verse 23:

Chapter 8, verse 23: “But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.

The Son of man here is tired, and He is asleep. But the Son of God walks on water.

Verse 24:

Chapter 8, verse 24: “And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.”

Son of God! You can’t miss it! His two natures found within three verses.

Verse 25:

Chapter 8, verse 25: “And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”

Because He is God Almighty. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). And here, He has deliberately fallen asleep to test their faith. And no doubt Satan was behind this great wind, this great tempest which came on the river, the lake, to test their faith. Also, verse 25 seems to mirror verse 9: “What might this parable be?” “What manner of man is this!” The apostles were still growing in grace. Again, there was no infallibility here. “What manner of man is this!” Jesus Christ is God, and Jesus Christ is man.

Verse 26:

Chapter 8, verses 26-27: “And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.”

Demon possession was endemic during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ, because the Lord Jesus Christ was the Holy One of Israel. He was Jehovah God, and these devils were working overtime to thwart His ministry. But He came to heal people of sicknesses, to cast out devils from unclean people, and at the same time to offer everlasting life for those that would believe on Him and receive Him. This man had been possessed, and he was hanging around tombs, graveyards. Most of the heavy metal music that you see today reflects this love of death and Satanism and spirits and ghosts. The paranormal in general is so popular today, but it’s all of Satan.

Verse 28:

Chapter 8, verse 28: “When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.”

What a powerful Scripture! “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high.”

This unclean spirit knew exactly whom the Lord Jesus Christ was. “I beseech thee [I beg thee], torment me not.” Because a day is coming when Satan and his minions are going to be cast alive into the lake of fire, and they will be tormented day and night forever. But here, he speaks with a loud voice.

I showed you last time, in the early chapters of the Gospel of Luke, how those that are filled with the Holy Spirit spoke with a loud voice. And here, this unclean spirit is also speaking with a loud voice.

Chapter 8, verse 29: “(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)”

Not a devil, but the devil. This man was kept bound, shackled. He was a prisoner. He was a slave of Satan.

Chapter 8, verse 30: “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.”

Legion will be six thousand. Six thousand devils had infested, had infected, had possessed this man, and he was totally taken over by these unclean spirits.

Verse 31:

Chapter 8, verses 31-32: “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.”

He suffered them. He allowed them. Swine, pigs, unclean animals.

Verse 33:

Chapter 8, verses 33-36: “Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.”

It’s quite right to be fearful to see a man who had been possessed for many years to be cleared, to be set free, at the word of the Lord. He’s gone from being tormented to being set free. And he’s sitting at the feet of Jesus. Humility! And this man, quite possibly, has also been regenerated by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. But above all, he’s been set free and he’s now in his right mind “and they were afraid.”

In Mark chapter 5, they even asked the Lord to leave, which shows just how depraved mankind is. When mankind meets Deity, if his heart has not been prepared by the Lord of the Bible, the chances are he’s going to reject the Lord God of the Bible. Mankind, for the most part, does not want God. Mankind, for the most part, is at enmity with God. But thanks be to God, that God Almighty in the person of Jesus Christ has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10, Matthew 18:11).

Verse 37:

Chapter 8, verse 37: “Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is a gentleman. He stands and knocks at the door, but He expects you to open the door to Him. He won’t come unto you until you come to Him.

Verse 38:

Chapter 8, verses 38-39: “Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.”

In verse 19 “the press”. In verse 39, “published”. The print press. I’m going to publish a story about you. The press, the media.

Here, in verse 39, this man was told to go up to a city, to go to his own house and show them what great things God had done for them. It was more important for this man to tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ than it was for the Lord Jesus Christ to go up and tell them about Himself, because the people of the Gadarenes had asked Him to leave. And one more time, Jesus Christ is a gentleman. He will never force Himself on you. And He never forced Himself on the people of Israel, or the Gentiles for that matter.

Verse 40:

Chapter 8, verse 40: “And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.”

One door closed, and another opened for Him. If you spend much time witnessing to some people and they just don’t seem to be interested, turn to those that are. There are many more fish in the sea.

But here, the Lord’s ministry was temporarily put on hold, as far as the Gadarenes were concerned, but once He left there and departed, He was gladly received. “He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own [the Jews] received him not” (John 1:11). But some did! But for the most, many did not. But to as many as received him, to them gave he right, the power, the authority to be called the sons of God (John 1:12).

Verse 41:

Chapter 8, verses 41-44: “And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.”

This girl is about 12 years of age, and this woman has been suffering for 12 years, and no physician could heal her. She has spent all her living trying to be made whole, trying to be made well. And as the Lord is going up to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter, this woman appears from nowhere, desperate to be healed.

Verse 45:

Chapter 8, verse 45: “And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”

He’s trying to draw her out of the crowd. He’s trying to draw her faith out from her. He knows, of course, who has touched Him, but He wants her to come forward. He wants the apostles to see this wonderful miracle.

Verse 46:

Chapter 8, verses 46-47: “And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.”

Without exception, nobody came to the Lord Jesus Christ to be healed who was not healed. And it was always straight away, immediately. You won’t find this anywhere in the world today. These so-called faith healers are fakes, they are serpents, they are slaves of Satan, and they are false brethren.

But here, the Lord Jesus Christ healed this woman straight away. But she is terrified, she is fearful, because it’s quite normal once you’ve been healed of something as severe as this, to then be presented whole to the Creator of the universe.

Look at verse 48:

Chapter 8, verse 48: “And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

Your faith saved you from your sins, and her faith saved her from her issue of blood twelve years. Her physical ailment was healed by her faith in the Lord God of the Bible. Also of interest to me, He calls her “daughter.” In Isaiah chapter 9, He’s called the everlasting Father. He’s not God the Father, but in a spiritual sense He is Father to Israel. Here, He calls her “daughter,” and I believe she was older than Him. Later, He calls a man “son.” Later, He calls His apostles “children.” He is fulfilling, therefore, one of the prophecies from Isaiah chapter 9.

Verse 49:

Chapter 8, verses 49-50: “While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”

“The just shall live by faith” (Romans 10:17b), in reference to your salvation. But here: your faith, their faith, our faith, can do all things, if it is the will of the Lord. And here, it was the Lord’s will for this young child to be healed, hence why Jesus said “Fear not: believe only.”

Look at verse 51:

Chapter 8, verse 51: “And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.”

Peter, James and John were handpicked to see many of the most intimate miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were taken up to see the Transfiguration. And here, He wants Peter, James and John to see this wonderful miracle. Peter is given a new name. James and John are given new names as well, which in Biblical times nearly always meant something special was going to come from these people, once the Lord had finished with them, meaning once the Lord Jesus Christ had gone back to heaven.

Peter, of course, was going to be one of the great church leaders. Peter would preach on the day of Pentecost. John, of course, would be the custodian of Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ. And James was going to be martyred by Acts chapter 12. But He wants Peter, James and John to see one of His most intimate and sacred miracles, concerning a young 12-year-old girl.

Chapter 8, verse 52: “And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.”

She was physically dead, like Lazarus was in John chapter 11. And she was waiting to be resurrected, as was a boy from Naim, as was Lazarus.

Verse 53:

Chapter 8, verse 53: “And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

Typically response of unsaved people. They “laughed him to scorn.” They failed to understand what He was about to do. And that’s why Jesus told the apostles, and vicariously all of us, back in verse 10, “that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.” Never cast your pearls before swine!

Verse 54:

Chapter 8, verse 54: “And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.”

In Mark chapter 5, He says “Talitha cumi,” which is Aramaic for “Little child, I say to you arise.”

Chapter 8, verse 55: “And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

She wasn’t resuscitated. She was resurrected! Hence, why He says give her food to eat.

Chapter 8, verse 56: “And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.”

She was only 12 years old. He didn’t want people travelling far and wide to see the resurrection of this young child. He came to heal her because Jairus was a leader of the synagogue, quite possibly a secret disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came unto his own, but his own received him not. (John 1:12). But He came unto them, nevertheless!

And here, this young girl has been resurrected. Not resuscitated, but resurrected! She was physically dead, but by the word of the Lord. He resurrected her! In verse 54, “Maid, arise.” “Talitha cumi.” Rise up and have some food to build yourself up.

Next up, Luke chapter 9!

CHAPTER 9

Chapter 9, verses 1-6: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.”

In verses 1 to 6 in Luke chapter 9, we discover the Lord Jesus Christ sending the 12 disciples to the people of Israel. Not to preach the gospel to them, but to heal them. This was a one-off ministry! It never happened before, and it never happened again.

In verse 1, He gave the apostles authority (power) over all devils and to cure diseases.

In verse 3, He says don’t take anything with you. Don’t take any staves nor scrip, not even bread or money! Don’t even take two coats. Just go as you are!

The only verse you could take from this piece of Scripture and apply spiritually to the church today would be verse 5: “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.”

If you preach the gospel to person A, B or C, and they will not receive it, turn around and walk off and go to someone else. If they too will not receive it, go to someone else. And if they won’t receive it, verse 5 one more time: “shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.”

But apart from verse 5, verses 1, 2, 3 and 4 are exclusively for the Jewish disciples being sent by the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish people.

Verse 7:

Chapter 9, verses 7-9: “Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.”

For the wrong reasons, of course! His heart was not right. He didn’t really want to receive the message of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wanted the Lord Jesus Christ to do signs and wonders in His presence. And the Lord Jesus Christ condemned that evil and perverse generation that sought a sign.

And yet saying that, the Jews were entitled to receive the sign from the Lord. But Herod was not a Jew; he was a Gentile. And he beheaded John the Baptist.

And we think of people today that around beheading so-called infidels, and we think of Islam, the religion which follows the moon god. They too behead their enemies.

But here Herod was a wicked Gentile dictator. He married his brother’s wife, and he also had thoughts and feelings for his wife’s daughter. He was a wicked man, and he is most certainly a type of the Antichrist.

Also from verses 7 down to 9, there’s a suggestion perhaps that Herod believed in reincarnation, not resurrection, once again just showing how ignorant he was of the Jewish Old Testament Scriptures.

Verse 10:

Chapter 9, verses 10-11: “And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.”

If you lived around this time, 27-28 A.D., and you wanted to be healed of any illness, of any ailments, to be set free from any devil, you went to the Man from Galilee, the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone that came to Him to be healed was healed without exception, but you won’t find that anywhere today.

The apostle Paul sought the Lord’s mercy. He begged the Lord’s mercy three times to take the thorn out of his flesh, and the Lord refused to do so.

Timothy also was very sick, and he had to take wine for his ulcer, perhaps. He was not healed. Paul was not healed. But for here and now, everyone that came to be healed was healed, without exception.

Clearly two dispensations! Here, we find the Jewish Messiah, coming to the people of Israel that are all living under the law. This is pre-the New Testament being written, and they are receiving healing. And for some, even salvation!

But go to the New Testament later on, post-the book of Acts, post-Acts chapter 16 to be more precise, and the healings have started to drop off. Why? Because the New Testament had been written.

And Paul told us in Romans chapter 1 how “The just shall live by faith” (verse 17). And I will say this very briefly, if I may: the greatest gift that the Lord God of the Bible can give any man or woman or child since the completion of the New Testament is regeneration, to make a man or woman or child alive from within, to make dead men alive, to revive mankind.

Tongues were for a sign to the unbelieving Jews. Tongues were a rebuke to unbelieving Israel. Prophecy per se, foretelling the future, ended with the apostles. But to prophesy in the sense of proclaiming or to sing psalms or to worship the Lord is still very much in play for today. But one more time: “The just shall live by faith,” not by sight!

Take a look at verse 12, please:

Chapter 9, verse 12: “And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.”

Here, we find the apostles telling, almost instructing, the Lord Jesus Christ to send the multitude away. And we learn from that, very simply, that they are still here at this point in time very carnal, immature. Still very much in need to have someone hold their hand.

Verse 13:

Chapter 9, verse 13: “But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.”

He’s about to perform a miracle: the feeding of the 5,000! And yet, if you add up the wives that were present and the children that were present, you are looking at, at least, 15,000 people. And yet the apostles still failed to grasp the enormity of what the Lord is about to do.

Verse 14:

Chapter 9, verses 14-16: “For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.”

Here, the disciples are going to wait on 15,000 people. It’s a sign of humility. These men were still jockeying for positions. We find that later on in Scripture: which of them will be the greatest? And here, He is going to allow His apostles, His disciples, to act as waiters in a sense.

Verse 17:

Chapter 9, verse 17: “And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.”

More than enough food left over. And 12 baskets here no doubt are going to be for the 12 apostles! They told the Lord, they instructed the Lord, from verse 12 to send the multitude away, and He took those words and turned them around into a blessing. And the apostles were told to feed 20,000 people. A great picture of humility!

Just before I move in to verse 18, I want to add a quick footnote in reference to Herod beheading John the Baptist, found very clearly in verse 9. And we know according to the Book of Revelation, that during the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist is going to behead the true Bible-believing Christian. And some people believe that the Antichrist could be Islamic. I’m not so sure, but he will use that brutal form of execution, which we have become accustomed to seeing over the last 10 years or so in Syria and Iraq and other parts of the Islamic world.

So, the Antichrist could be a type of Islamic terrorist, fundamentalist, extremist. But I still believe, for the most part, he will be a Jew, not a Muslim per se. But he will use whatever means he deems necessary to deal with those that truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 18:

Chapter 9, verses 18-22: “And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.”

Here, the Lord Jesus Christ has given a precise prophecy about how He’s going to be killed. Mohammed could not do this. Buddha could not do this. Joseph Smith could not do this. Brigham Young could not do this. Charles Taze Russell could not do this. The Queen of England cannot do this. The American president cannot do this. The president of the European Union cannot do this either.

But here, the Jesus Christ has done it! He has prophesized about how He is going to be killed.

But this question back in verse 18 is addressed to all of the apostles: whom do the people say that I am? He starts by asking all the apostles: whom do the people say that I am.

And their responses are found in verse 19: John the Baptist, Elijah, and others say you are one of the prophets who has been risen again. And then He asks all of them in verse 20: “But who say ye [plural] that I am?” Peter here, speaking for all of the apostles, says “The Christ of God.”

In Matthew chapter 16, he says, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And the Lord Jesus Christ said, “thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.”

The Roman Catholic Church believe that their church is built literally on Simon Peter, but the rock of course is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is simply commending Peter for what he has just said.

And if it was so important, if Matthew chapter 16 was so important, if Matthew chapter 16 was as important as the Roman Catholic Church would have us believe, why does Dr Luke leave that piece out? He only gives you half of Peter’s reply. Clearly, Peter’s reply and the Lord’s commendation isn’t as important as we have been led to believe by those in the Roman Catholic Church.

But He said in verse 20, “But whom see ye that I am?” And Peter as the eldest quite clearly says, “The Christ of God.”

John the Baptist was the first to affirm the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, then it was Andrew. Peter comes much later on. Martha affirmed His deity in John chapter 11.

But Peter here is simply speaking on behalf of all of the apostles, and in Matthew 16, one more time, Jesus Christ commends him and based on his profession, He says, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock [upon this foundation, upon what you have just told me]” I am going to build my church. Not on you, Simon Peter, but on Myself, of course. Deuteronomy 32, 1 Corinthians chapter 10. The rock is Deity; the rock is Jesus Christ to be precise.

Verse 23:

Chapter 9, verses 23-26: “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

Pick up your cross daily and follow Me daily. Deny yourself daily.

Verse 23, if you try to save your life, verse 24, by not believing on Me, you will lose it when you die. But if you believe on Me, you will save it when you die. Once again, it’s a paradox.

In verse 25, how is a man advantaged if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul. Some of these multimillionaires, billionaires, trillionaires would do very well to read these verses.

How are you advantaged after 70, 80 or perhaps 90 years of living on Planet Earth, gaining the whole world and then dying and going to Hell forever. You’ve had it all here and now, but you are going to lose all when you die.

Also from verses 23 down to 26, this pictures very much the shame, the stigma, the ridicule of following the Lord Jesus Christ. The Jews thought it was ridiculous to have a crucified Messiah. In fact, the Jews thought it was something unbearable to have a crucified Messiah. And for the Gentiles, they couldn’t fathom the purpose of sacrificing a sinless man for their sins.

Two thousand years later, nothing has changed. I’ve spoken to people all over the UK who still think this is something impossible to fathom. “Where is the justice?” they ask me “in putting an innocent man to die on the cross for my sins or for your sins.”

And I tell them very simply that unless you are sinless, you will go to Hell when you die.

God is sinless, God cannot pardon sin, so He became a man and took on human form, by becoming Jesus Christ, of course, and dying in our place. The judgements, the sin, the full penalty of God fell on Jesus Christ, and He died for us in every place.

Take Jesus Christ out of the equation: you’ve got a big problem when you die and stand before Him. He cannot behold sin, He cannot behold evil, He cannot behold iniquity.

Something has to happen to you in order to survive in His presence, and that of course is Christ’s imputed righteousness, which He gives to those that believe on him.

And verse 26, one final time: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” That could be in reference to a Bible-believing Christian who temporarily falls away and goes on to lose his or her millennial inheritance, but more likely to be in reference to an unbelieving person who was ashamed, who was embarrassed to be identified with the Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, lost his soul when he died and went to Hell.

There are going to be very many brave people, so-called, in Hell. Many tough guys in Hell that didn’t have the backbone to follow the Messiah, to “follow the Lamb of God whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).

Verse 27:

Chapter 9, verse 27: “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.”

The kingdom of God is a physical kingdom and a spiritual kingdom. For those living today: we are in the spiritual kingdom, but when Jesus Christ comes back to the earth at the end of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 19), we come back with Him, because we were raptured before the beginning of the Great Jubilation. That will be a physical, literal, Davidic kingdom. King Jesus coming back to rule and reign on the earth for a thousand years.

But for those of us living today, we are in the spiritual kingdom of God.

Look at verse 28 please:

Chapter 9, verses 28-36: “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.”

There’s a picture of the Kingdom of God, referred to as the Transfiguration. And once again, Peter, John and James have been handpicked to experience this incredible one-off appearing. Moses arrives, as does Elijah. And Peter recognises Moses and Elijah, along with James and John no doubt, which makes it very clear that when we arrive in eternity, we too are going to recognise all of the greats that died before us.

And also from verse 34, a cloud overshadows them, a picture of the Shekinah glory, the Holy Ghost to be precise.

Verse 35: a voice came from heaven which said, “This is my beloved Son: hear him” in reference to God the Father proclaiming His beloved Son Jesus Christ. “Hear him.”

Islam says if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are accursed. And here, God commands it, God demands reverential faith and love and obedience to Him.

This voice came out of the cloud, one more time, picturing the Shekinah glory. You cannot separate the tri-unity of God.

In verse 33, Jesus is very much the main focal point here, not Moses or Elijah, but the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father’s only begotten Son.

And also from all of these verses, we discover very clearly how Peter, James and John got a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. They got a glimpse of the Second Coming of Christ, and they did not die. If you go back to the Old Testament, man could not stand in the presence of God, because God is holy, and man is not holy. But on this occasion these men (Peter, James and John) were supernaturally protected and given a glance, a glimpse, an experience of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God as I say, a literal Kingdom of God with a literal King sitting on a literal throne on Planet Earth. The new Jerusalem to be precise, which comes after the Great Tribulation.

And also one final point in reference to verse 33 how we discover Peter (the oldest and also the weakest of the disciples saying to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.”

Peter was very good at putting his foot in his mouth, and this is why the Lord spent so much time with Peter trying to build Him up to become a great leader in the early church. He failed so many times, and the Lord gave him so many chances to redeem himself. Jesus Christ is very much the Lord of second chances.

Verse 37:

Chapter 9, verses 37-42: “And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him. And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child. And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him. And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither. And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.”

Here, we find the Lord Jesus Christ stepping into a situation and dealing with a demon-possessed child, and yes, children can be possessed by the devil. His disciples failed, perhaps because they were still immature, still carnal, still jockeying for positions in the future Kingdom of God.

And Jesus Christ steps in and rebukes this faithless and perverse generation, i.e., the people of Israel per se but also His disciples are partly being rebuked here. Elsewhere in Scripture, they were told to pray and fast for that type of an unclean spirit to come out, to be set free. They were great conquerors in other parts of Scripture, but at this point, at this time, they failed miserably.

Verse 43:

Chapter 9, verses 43-45: “And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”

It was withheld from the apostles just what exactly awaited the Lord Jesus Christ. He had told them on other occasions, but they could not receive it, they could not perceive just how bad it was going to be.

Jesus Christ as a spiritual father was still protecting His little flock. He told them, but they couldn’t really understand it, and nor would they want to truly understand just how much pain and suffering He was about to undergo. Isaiah chapter 9, one more time, spoke about Jesus being the everlasting father, and here Jesus as their father is protecting them, is looking over them, as you would expect Him to do.

“Let these sayings sink down into your ears.” Listen to me very carefully. Verily, verily I say unto you “the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.” He’s prophesying. He is predicting how He is going to die. Nobody made Him come to earth to die for the sins of the world. He volunteered to come to earth to die for our sins. What a magnificent Saviour we have in Jesus!

Verse 46:

Chapter 9, verse 46: “Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.”

You can’t miss it! They are still very juvenile. They are still growing in grace, and the Lord Jesus Christ, as omniscient as He is, as understanding as He is, takes the bull by the horn.

Look at verse 47:

Chapter 9, verses 47-48: “And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.”

This child could have been Peter’s child, and it’s so simple. In fact, it’s something that probably Solomon would have done. He took a child from among them and He said, “Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me [in reference to God the Father]: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.” A child is very impressionable. A child can grasp great things from the Lord. And His apostles for the most part needed analogies such as this, time after time, until they understood just what was expected of them. This is why Jesus spent 3 1/2 years on the earth. Not for the people of Israel or the leaders or the Pharisees or the scribes, but for His little flock.

Verse 49:

Chapter 9, verses 49-50: “And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

A bit of denominational snobbery there from the youngest apostle: “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followth not with us.” He’s not in our church. He’s not of our denomination. And the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Forbid him not.” Don’t forbid him, don’t stop him. “For he that is not against us is for us.” You are either born again or you are not. Pure and simple!

Verse 51:

Chapter 9, verses 51-56: “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”

John messed up in verse 49, and here John and his brother James have messed up in verse 54. “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” And Jesus rebuked them, like He did with Peter in Matthew 16 “Get thee behind me, Satan” and he says, “Ye [plural] know not what manner of spirit ye [all of you] are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” What a rebuke! But it was needed and it was done in love.

And also from these verses, we find a stinging rebuke to the Roman Catholic Church who killed 50 million people over 600 years under the orders of 80 popes. And also we find a rebuke to John Calvin’s police state in Geneva.

Bible-believing Christians don’t force their beliefs on anyone. He came to set sinners free, not to consume sinners.

And also from John chapter 4, other members of the Samaritan community believed Him and received Him. But this group of Samaritans did not. And the Lord said, fine, we will go to another village, and off they went.

Verse 57:

Chapter 9, verses 57-62: “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

“Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” “Let the dead bury their dead.” Your unsaved family are dead, not physically but spiritually of course.

“No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” A picture of Lot’s wife!

Here, the Lord Jesus Christ is calling for immediate obedience and attention to the call of salvation and also to discipleship. He says in verse 60, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” It’s all or nothing! And here, the Lord Jesus Christ, one more time, in verse 62: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Make your calling and election sure. If your family are not saved and if your family don’t want to be saved, leave them behind and go on with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next up, Luke chapter 10.

CHAPTER 10

Chapter 10, verses 1-2: “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Chapter 10 builds on chapter 9. In chapter 9, the Lord Jesus Christ sends out the 12, but here in chapter 10, He is sending out the seventy as well, and among the seventy (I believe) is Dr Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke.

Verse 2: “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.” This could so easily be in reference to today, meaning that we are to go out into the highways and the byways, to be soul winners. The harvest truly is great. The world is ready to be reached for the Lord. It could be via the street, the Internet or the radio.

But here, He wants the seventy to go out. But before they go out, He is telling them (and vicariously us) that we are to pray to the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth labourers into His harvest. He wants people to be saved!

If you are born-again and if you are not a soul winner, something is wrong with you. Just picture this for a moment, if you will: Imagine arriving at the judgement seat of Christ, and one of the first questions the Lord asks you is who have you brought with you. And you look at the Lord and you say: well, no one, Lord, just myself. Just imagine the shame that you will feel! You see, your salvation is one thing: saved by your faith in the precious blood of Christ. But your service is something else, and your service will decide whether or not you go into the Millennial Kingdom. So get busy for the Lord!

Verse 3:

Chapter 10, verses 3-16: “Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”

Verses 3 down to 16 expand even more on chapter 9. Don’t go from house to house, unlike the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Here, the Lord Jesus Christ wanted them to go to certain houses.

Verse 9: “Heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you,” very much in reference to the Messiah, on the earth at this point in time.

Verse 7: “The labourer is worthy of his hire.” It could be in reference to an evangelist who goes out full-time by faith, expecting the Lord to provide for him. Not a one-man paid Protestant priest, as I like to call them, but an evangelist, or in today’s world, a ministry.

He quotes Sodom in verse 12 and Bethsaida in verse 13, along with Tyre and Sidon, and says in verse 14 how it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgement than for you. Because quite simply, the Lord is on the earth at this point in time. These towns, these cities, were far more accountable to Him than those other cities were.

Capernaum, verse 15, which was “exalted to heaven” ‒ because that was the base of the Jesus Christ ‒ “shalt be thrust down to hell” because he lived among them.

Verse 16: “He that heareth you heareth me.” The apostles, the seventy, were sent out by the Messiah. If their message was heard, the Lord was glorified. If their message was not heard, the Lord was not glorified and in reality He was despised, because he sent the seventy and the apostles to preach to them.

Today, if you are a Bible-believing Christian and you witness to person A, B or C, and they reject it, they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and in essence they have despised Him and His message.

But one thing you cannot miss from these verses is how this advanced party had the sign gifts. The Jews require a sign, and the Jews are entitled to a sign.

The seventy had the authority and the ability to heal the sick, and no doubt cast out devils if it was necessary. Also, they were given the ability and the authority to preach as well.

As I say, Luke chapter 10 expands on Luke chapter 9, and yet this ministry, this sending out the seventy and the twelve, was a one-off. It never happened before, and it never happened again.

Verse 17:

Chapter 10, verse 17: “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”

There’s power in the name of Christ. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bend, every tongue will confess. To be baptised in the name of Jesus ‒ Acts chapter 2 ‒ means with the authority of Jesus, a new believer can be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. There’s power in the name of Jesus!

In Acts chapter 19, a group of Jews were trying to do an exorcism, and it failed miserably. And the devil said, Jesus we know and Paul we know but who are you? And these devils attacked these Jewish evangelists because they did not know what they were up against. They did not know who the Lord Jesus Christ was. One more time, there is power in the name of Jesus!

And here, the devils are subject to the name of Jesus.

Look at verse 18:

Chapter 10, verses 18-19: “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

He protected His flock right up until the end.

In John chapter 18, they came to arrest the Lord Jesus Christ, and He says to them: Whom do you seek? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. And they all fell backwards! All 600 of them! Why was that done? To protect the apostles! They came for Jesus, not the apostles, and He said “I am” and they all fell backwards, in reference to His deity and also reference to the fact that they could not touch His apostles.

The everlasting father here is looking over His flock one more time.

Also from verse 19, He says, I give you power over the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. This kind of mirrors the 144,000 Jewish male virgin witnesses in the Great Tribulation, and they too will be protected.

The water’s going to be poisoned during the Great Tribulation, and they will be able to drink the water, which is contaminated, and not die, but we found that very clearly prophesised in Mark chapter 16.

But He wants to move the apostles and the seventy on from the fact that Satan and his minions are in submission to them, because He says in verse 20:

Chapter 10, verse 20: “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

In reference to their salvation.

Some people are not sure as to when the apostles and the seventy were saved. I believe they were saved pre-Acts chapter 2, and this verse makes it very clear that they were, but by Acts chapter 2, they have received the Holy Spirit, in reference to being anointed and to doing many more miracles, signs and wonders.

But their salvation, I believe, is affirmed here in verse 20: “your names [plural] are written in heaven.” In that, they should rejoice.

Verse 21:

Chapter 10, verse 21: “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

In reference, of course, to the apostles and the seventy. He did not reveal His ministry to Herod, Pilate or Caiaphas, or any of the elite in Jerusalem. He revealed Himself and His ministry to the apostles, which for the most part were lower-middle-class fishermen.

Verse 22:

Chapter 10, verse 22: “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”

Once again, the Lord is affirming how He had decided to reveal himself and His ministry to the apostles and to the seventy, in reference, of course, to service, not salvation per se.

Verse 23:

Chapter 10, verses 23-24: “And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

Perhaps David, perhaps Solomon, perhaps Abraham! And He says: those kings (those leaders) wanted (they desired) to see those things which ye (all of you) have seen and heard, in reference, of course, to His ministry as the Son of man on the earth. But from these men, they would go out to the ends of the earth and preach the gospel.

Calvinism teaches that God has chosen a group of people before the foundation of the earth to be saved, and those people alone have been atoned for that. That’s not what the Lord Jesus Christ is saying here! He chose the apostles and the seventy to experience His ministry. This is not in reference to salvation, but in reference to service. And just in reference to the seventy and the twelve!

The apostles and the seventy were a group of one-off gentlemen. When they died, nobody replaced them. They were eyewitnesses of the majesty, of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the sign gifts died with them!

Verse 25:

Chapter 10, verse 25: “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

What a great question! This is also asked in Acts chapter 16, and the response from Paul differs slightly from the response from the Lord Jesus.

But let’s continue on:

Verse 26:

Chapter 10, verses 26-28: “He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

Now, of course, keeping the law could not save you. The Old Testament saints could not keep the law, and in Acts chapter 15, the apostles made it very clear how they too could not keep the law.

Christ came to set us free from the law. He came to fulfil the law, so what is the Lord doing here? He is simply using the law to show this man that he is a sinner and cannot save himself by keeping the law.

Also keep in mind: this is a Jew under the law speaking to the Lord Jesus Christ. The covenant hasn’t yet been initiated.

In Acts chapter 16, when the Philippian jailer was about to kill himself, Paul says: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Believe, receive, call, trust! These words are all synonymous in reference to being saved, but above all, believe in your heart that Christ died for your sins and after three days God resurrected Him from the dead.

But look at verse 29:

Chapter 10, verse 29: “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”

Once again, these people aren’t really interested in the Lord or His message. And we saw that very clearly from Herod, who was very keen to meet Jesus, and this lawyer from the temple (one of the brains, one of the scholars, one of the elite) is wanting to trip up the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord’s patience was remarkable, and yes, at times He did rip and He chastised these individuals. Not the average man or woman in the street, but always the priests, the Pharisees and the scribes and on this occasion, a lawyer.

But the analogy that the Lord chooses over the next few verses demonstrates His love for this man.

Verse 30:

Chapter 10, verses 30-36: “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”

What a great question! What a great analogy! And here, He demonstrates a Samaritan steps into the equation and shames the Levite and the priest. We saw it in the last chapter, how the apostle James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven to consume the Samaritans. And here, the Lord once again has turned their hostility perhaps, their indifference perhaps, of the Samaritans, into a blessing and a great analogy.

Look at verse 37:

Chapter 10, verse 37: “And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

Faith without works is dead, and works without faith is dead as well. “Go, and do thou likewise.” Your neighbour is everyone. “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength… and love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Verse 38:

Chapter 10, verses 38-39: “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.”

Mary, Martha and Lazarus were greatly beloved of the Lord Jesus Christ. Chapter 9 and chapter 10 focus very much on homes.

In chapter 9, the Lord told us how He had nowhere to lay His head. He was a travelling rabbi, and yet the popes of Rome today and many Protestant evangelists and pastors live in castles, mansions, great estates. They have two or three cars. They go on holiday four or five times a year. They are extremely wealthy, and yet Paul told us to let our moderation be known unto all men (Philippians 4:5), but here the Lord has arrived at the house of Martha and her sister Mary, and the latter part of verse 39, in reference to Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, heard His word. Humility, and it’s beautiful!

Verse 40:

Chapter 10, verses 40-42: But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to His word, whereas Martha was out and about doing many works.

Working for the Lord is one thing. Reading the word of God is something else altogether. He loved both these sisters with the same love, but one was more in tune with the ministry and the will of the Lord.

The word of God is more important than activities. Reading the Scriptures is more important than doing works for the Lord. If you’re not holy within, you won’t be holy without.

He’s not condemning Martha per se, but He is commending Mary in the sense that she “hath chosen the good part.”

The word of God! Reading it, studying it and then walking in the Spirit, whereas Martha, as I say, was more conscious, she was more aware, she was more interested about doing works.

And again, if you’re not holy within, you won’t be holy without.

So, just before I conclude Luke chapter 10, I want to go back to the verse 31: “And by chance there came down a certain priest that way.” By chance? Calvinists would have you believe that the Lord God of the Bible preordains everything. All of the evil in the world is down to Him. Nothing happens by chance, and yet here, the Lord said, “and by chance.”

Things do happen in this world that are not related directly to the Lord God of the Bible. Yes, He allows men to do their thing, to go their own way, and to sin as they choose, but He will always use that sin for His own glory.

The scribes and the Pharisees conspired to put the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He knew that was going to happen, of course, back in eternity and He allowed it to continue. He allowed them to do what they did in order to bring forth good.

So, yes, the Lord does allow evil to flourish, and He does use evil to fulfil His greater purpose for us. But He does not ordain evil per se. But verse 31 really is interesting to me because it shows me that things do happen by chance, and yet saying that, I will say this: that the Lord is behind everything, and He can and does use events, which sometimes we can’t grasp. But according to Romans chapter 8: all things happen for those that love Him, that are called according to His purpose.

But this man, by chance, went down from Jerusalem and found a man, stripped and lying in the gutter. And the Samaritan was commended, and I showed you earlier how James and John (almost perhaps with a touch of racism!) didn’t quite like the Samaritans. They were a half-breed group of people, but the Lord cites the Samaritan, and He commends Him to this self-righteous lawyer.

Next up, Luke 11.

CHAPTER 11

Chapter 11, verse 1: “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

This piece of Scripture is commonly referred to as the Lord’s prayer, but as far as I am concerned, the Lord’s prayer is found very clearly in John chapter 17. As far as I am concerned, this should really be called the disciple’s prayer.

Chapter 11, verses 2-4: “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

Several points to flag up from verses 2 down to 3: “Our Father” found in verse 2. The Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew speaking to His Jewish disciples, who were all living under the Jewish law. God was not your Father if you were not a Jew, at this point in time.

Please turn to Malachi chapter 2. Look at verse 10: “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” “Have we [the Jews] not all one father?” Yes, we the Jews have only one Father, at this point in time of course. Have not we (the Jews) have one God who created us? Yes, we the Jews at this point in time had one God who created us. If you’re not a Jew at this point in time, you’re outside of the commonwealth of Israel.

In Ephesians chapter 2, Paul told us how we were outside of God’s covenant. We had no hope. We were completely cut off. We were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, but Christ has knocked down the middle wall of partition, and He’s drawn all Jews and Gentiles unto Him. And those of us which have believed on Him can call God our Father.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 11, verse 2 one more time: “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven.” “When ye [all of you] pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven.” But now, if you have been born again, God the Father lives within you, as does God the Son, as does God the Holy Ghost. So here, the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking about the Father who is still in Heaven, not living within you, if you have been born again.

“When ye pray [all of you], say, Our Father [not my Father, but our Father] which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”

“Thy kingdom come.” The kingdom of God is physical and spiritual. At this point in time, no one was in the spiritual kingdom of Heaven, and no one was in the physical kingdom of Heaven. So, this prayer is very much in reference to post-the crucifixion. “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Very much in reference, I believe, to the second coming of the New Jerusalem. He will rule and reign from the new Jerusalem, and His will will be done in the new Jerusalem, and also in the new Earth.

Spiritually speaking, of course, we can still use these verses for today and we can still pray that His will will be done in our lives and those around us.

But really, to be quite honest with you, I believe these verses are in reference to the Davidic kingdom, the second coming of Christ.

Verse 3: “Give us day by day our daily bread.” Physical food, perhaps, but also spiritual food. He, Jesus, is the bread of life. We eat from Him, we feed from Him, we get our life from Him, and He gave us His life. He gave us His body on the cross.

So, technically, this verse is still very much in reference to His death and also His second coming. But you can take these verses and apply them still in a spiritual sense. We still feed on Him spiritually, and we still need Him to provide for us, but the chances are He’s already done so. We just have to get off our backsides and go off to work to receive the food that He has given us.

Verse 4: “And forgive us our sins [He already has by His death on the cross]; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.” We do because we have been saved, and if we don’t, then according to 1 John chapter 1, we lose fellowship with God, not our salvation.

But the latter part of verse 4: “And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” That can stay today. That can still be applicable. But ultimately, He has already saved us from evil. He delivered us from temptation when He hung on the cross.

Also, Paul told us from 1 Corinthians chapter 10 how He (the Lord) would not allow us to be tempted above what we could endure. So, these verses (as far as I am concerned) are primarily for the Jewish disciples living under the Law. And they will have a much greater impact, I believe, during the millennial reign of Christ on the earth.

Verse 5:

Chapter 11, verses 5-8: “And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.”

Faith without works is dead, and works without faith is dead as well. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This is the golden rule! It’s so simple! It’s common sense!

And once again, the Lord is demonstrating some very simplistic analogies, examples to His Jewish disciples. They were children for many years, and the Lord ‒ as their everlasting Father ‒ took the time to be with them and to teach them and to build them up and they too would do the same vicariously to their disciples.

Verse 9:

Chapter 11, verses 9-10: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Verses 9 and 10 are primarily building up to the plan of salvation, and yet at the same time, this pictures very much praying in the will of the Father to have the will of the Lord done, found very clearly in verses 2, 3 and 4.

Verse 11:

Chapter 11, verses 11-13: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

It’s building up, of course, to the new birth. If you ask for the Holy Ghost, you will receive the Holy Ghost. Also from verse 13: “If ye then, being evil”. “Ye” being all of you “being evil”. “All have come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of you have been born in original sin. All of you are evil pre-the new birth.

And the reference here to heavenly Father goes to back to verse 2: “Our Father which art in heaven.” Our Father as the Jewish Lord, as the Jewish Father, as the Jewish God. “How much more shall your heavenly Father [in reference to the people of Israel] give the Holy Spirit to them [the Jewish people] that ask him.”

This is still very much the Lord speaking to the Jews under the law. The New Covenant hasn’t yet officially been initiated, but the heavenly Father, spoken of here, will give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him. And we can take these verses today and apply them spiritually to people wanting to be saved. But first of all, you have to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And once you have believed on Him, then you receive the Holy Spirit (Ephesians chapter 4 and 1 Corinthians chapter 12).

Verse 14:

Chapter 11, verses 14-15: “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.”

There’s a picture of the unpardonable sin, found very clearly in Mark chapter 3. To suggest, to insinuate that the Lord Jesus Christ did His miracles through Satan was the unpardonable sin, applicable to the time of Christ, but not as far as I am concerned applicable to anyone living today.

Look at verse 16:

Chapter 11, verse 16: “And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.”

How many more signs do these people need to see? He walked on water, He cast out devils, He gave sight to the blind, He resurrected the dead. What more do these people need in order to believe?

Verse 17:

Chapter 11, verses 17-18: “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.”

Satan, of course, is not going to cast out devils in order to somehow get all of the glory. It makes no sense! But the Lord Jesus Christ, as the second member of the Godhead, is going to cast out unclean spirits right up until the resurrection.

Verse 19:

Chapter 11, verse 19: “And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.”

The apostles were the sons of Israel, and they too will be judging the people of Israel at the Great White Throne Judgement. This term for “Beelzebub” means “lord of the flies.” These people had the audacity to claim that the Lord Jesus Christ was casting out devils thanks to Beelzebub, the lord of the flies who, of course, is Satan.

And this shows, one more time, just how depraved, just how far gone, the people of Israel had really gone. Hence, why the Lord spoke in parables on so many occasions.

Verse 20:

Chapter 11, verse 20: “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.”

The finger of God, in reference to His deity. The handwriting was on the wall, in reference to His deity. The kingdom of God needs a king, and the King, of course, is Jesus Christ.

But once again, the people of Israel ‒ for the most part ‒ were blinded, foretold in Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Verse 21:

Chapter 11, verses 21-23: “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.”

You are either with the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not. You are either born again or you are not. You cannot sit on the wall and give Him lip service. You either believe on Him and trust Him and follow Him, or you do not. And if you are against Him, you remain an enemy of His.

Verse 24:

Chapter 11, verses 24-26: “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

Here, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks about the dangers of being set free from unclean spirits, and then not going on to be saved. Once an unclean spirit has left you, the Holy Spirit must reside in you almost straightaway. Otherwise, unclean spirits can come back and take their abode within you, and your state will be seven times worse than it was pre-being set free from an unclean spirit.

But I believe this analogy really is in reference to Israel as a nation.

Please jump over to Luke chapter 13 and take a look at verse 35: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Here, the Lord has now turned from the nation of Israel and until they see Him at the Second Advent and say blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord, they will not know Him or receive Him. Therefore, Israel, as far as I am concerned (at least religious Israel, as far as I am concerned) is now indwelt with unclean spirits.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 11. Look at verse 24 one more time: “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man [the man here represents Israel], he walketh through dry places, seeking rest [Christ is our rest, of course]; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.” The house of Israel, the house of Moses, the house of the Lord, very much in reference to Israel.

Verse 25: “And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.” By the death on the cross, everything has been put right, and now the Lord is waiting for Israel to receive Him.

Verse 26: “Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself” [“We are legion;” these unclean spirits go around in numbers; they go around in a pack. They’re like a gang of unclean spirits]; and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first,” in reference to religious Israel.

Since the fall of Israel around 70 A.D., Israel has not been in the will of God. Since 70 A.D., the people of Israel have been outside of the will of God. As far as the land is concerned, they are still very much beloved of the Lord. Every war that Israel has fought since 1948 has been won, because the land given to the Jews is unconditional.

When Jesus Christ comes back to earth, He’s going to go to Jerusalem, not London, not Washington and not Rome. He’s going to go to Jerusalem. Hence, why the Jews are now safely back in the land of Israel.

But religious Israel (so-called Judaism) as far as I am concerned, according to these verses, is now undwelt by unclean spirits. Hence, why their prayers are not going to be answered. But when it comes to the land of Israel, they are still very much safe in the land of Israel. And we that are born again must love them, pray for them and, if we can, make them jealous, so that they will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 27:

Chapter 11, verses 27-28: “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”

He’s more interested in you keeping the word of God than He is in you worshipping His mother, the so-called “Queen of Heaven.” This, I believe, is a prophetic rebuke against Mary worship. And He says so clearly: “Yea [yes] rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.”

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Mary plays no part in your salvation or in your growth as a Christian. He wants you to hear the word of God and keep it. Pure and simple!

Verse 29:

Chapter 11, verse 29: “And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.”

Verse 13: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

These two verses makes it very clear how the Lord Jesus Christ was not a man-pleaser. He spoke His mind. All this meek-and-mild Jesus is a fable. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). An evil generation! “If ye then, being evil.” How can you miss it?

Unless you are born again, you are evil and you are outside of the kingdom of God. “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11b). He hates “all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5).

And yet at the same time, He “gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

So, His love is very much conditional on you believing on His son, but in verse 29, He’s in the thick of it. In verse 29, He’s speaking to the people, and in verse 29, He is quoting, He is referring to Jonas the prophet, who was sent to the Gentiles to call them to repent. Here, once again an analogy is about to take place.

Verse 30:

Chapter 11, verse 30: “For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.”

Jonah was a Jew sent to the Gentiles, and they believed his message. Jesus was a Jew going to the people of Israel: they did not believe His message. And the terrible consequences of this are found very clearly in verse 31:

Chapter 11, verse 31: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”

Once again, affirming His deity! He’s greater than the temple. He’s Lord of the Sabbath, and here He is greater than Solomon.

Verse 32:

Chapter 11, verse 32: “The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”

He’s now greater than Jonah. He always affirmed His deity, even in the midst of unbelief and hostility and hatred. Greater than Solomon! Greater than Jonah! Greater than Mohammed! Greater than Buddha! Greater than Mary! Greater than the pope! Greater than anyone that ever went before Him or ever came after Him.

So, take all these verses together: we find unclean spirits inhabiting the house of Israel. Hence, why they could not believe on Him. The apostle Peter said: save yourself from this perverse generation (Acts 2:40).

Jews are still being saved. Many were saved on the day of Pentecost, but for the most part, they’ve been blinded and they remain in perpetual blindness, even to this present day.

Verse 33:

Chapter 11, verse 33: “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.”

Picturing, of course, your salvation and your testimony to the world. “Let your light so shine before men (Matthew 5:16a).

Verse 34:

Chapter 11, verses 34-36: “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.”

Be careful what you set before your eyes, because what you see can result in you lusting and in sinning and then falling from grace.

Verse 37:

Chapter 11, verses 37-38: “And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.”

This is a ceremonial washing. Of course, the Lord would have washed His hands before sitting down to eat, but this Pharisee is a hypocrite. This Pharisee is a lost sinner. This Pharisee is like the one found in the previous chapter, in reference to the man that fell by the wayside and was left for dead.

Twelve thousand priests were at the temple at this time in the Lord’s ministry, and not one of those priests went to the aid of the man that was left for dead, but a Samaritan went and aided that sick individual. And that pictures the Lord’s ministry turning from Israel to the Church, turning from the Jews to the Gentiles.

And here, the Lord has been asked by a Pharisee to have dinner with him in his house, and the Lord, ever obliging, went in to meet this Pharisee, hoping to present the plan of salvation to this self-righteous individual.

Verse 39:

Chapter 11, verses 39-40: “And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?”

Of course He did! What He made internally, He made externally as well. But this is a heart problem, not a head problem. These people were dead from within. These people were self-righteous. These people wanted to be seen and greeted and revered in the marketplaces, and in Matthew chapter 6, the Lord Jesus told us how they have already had their reward, as have all false disciples, all false Bible believers which go around wanting to be seen and heard by the ignorant masses. They’ve already had their reward.

Verse 41:

Chapter 11, verses 41-44: “But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.”

He is now reprimanding the religious fathers of His day. Meek-and-mild Jesus? I don’t think so. Here, He is taking these people to task because He knows their hearts. He’s omniscient, and they must have been stunned listening to the Man from Galilee ripping them apart.

These men were revered by the people. These men were looked up to by the people, but the Lord is cutting them down. A picture of the Great White Throne Judgement!

Verse 45:

Chapter 11, verse 45: “Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.”

You bet it did! Here, the Lord Jesus Christ despises these men in organised religion, these men which had made a living off the backs of hard-working, everyday people. He was baptised by His second cousin in the River Jordan. Caiaphas the high priest played no part whatsoever in the Lord’s baptism, in the Lord’s public arrival, His public proclamation to the people of Israel. He played no part in that whatsoever.

The Lord Jesus Christ completely bypassed organised religion, and it’s going to happen again at the Second Coming. He’s going to bypass organised religion completely. Priests, vicars, pastors, deacons, superintendents are going to play no part whatsoever at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most people had no idea who He was when He first came, and most people were not even ready for the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s going to happen again at the second coming of Christ. Most people will have no idea who the Lord Jesus Christ is, or what His second coming is even about until it’s too late!

Verse 46:

Chapter 11, verse 46: “And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.”

Do as I say, not as I do. This is hypocrisy with a capital “H”. And once again, the Lord Jesus Christ is dealing with this head-on. He is setting the example.

You were told to mark those out which preach another gospel, and warn others about them, and you were told to sharply rebuke heretics, false teachers, because their teaching can become poisonous, and it can contaminate many people if you’re not careful.

Verse 47:

Chapter 11, verses 47-48: “Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.”

What a stinging rebuke! He’s now pointing back to the Old Testament, and He’s saying: your fathers killed the prophets and built the sepulchres, in reference to honouring the slain dead. Hypocrisy! Your fathers killed them, and yet you have now built sepulchres to remember the men which your fathers vicariously killed. This is incredible!

Verse 49:

Chapter 11, verses 49-51: “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.”

And from 30 A.D. to 70 A.D., the Lord allowed the clock to start ticking. He gave them 40 years to get their house in order, and in 70 A.D. the clock stopped ticking and the judgement fell. The Romans came and surrounded the temple. “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15b), and their king arrived and destroyed the temple.

And that old expression “you get what you ask for” was very much applicable to the Jews living in 70 A.D. “We have no king but Caesar,” and their king turned on them and destroyed them. A picture of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. He will sign a treaty with them, and then he will turn on them. He will renege on the treaty and destroy them.

Verse 52:

Chapter 11, verse 52: “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”

Here, He’s now going to blame the lawyers for hindering those that were going to believe on the Lord entering into the kingdom of God. And this is very much in reference to false teachers today. They too can hinder people coming to the Lord, and here the Lord is going to hold them accountable.

The key of knowledge, of course, is Jesus Christ. “He is the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). He’s the door to Heaven, and the key, of course, is a metaphor for entrance to Heaven via the Lord Jesus Christ.

These lawyers should have known better. These lawyers were the scribes, the Pharisees. These lawyers were the brains, the academics of their generation, but they hated Him. They despised Him, as their fathers did back in the Old Testament to the prophets and the kings.

What goes around comes around. And the Lord has decided that He is going to use this generation as an example to future generations. He’s going to punish this generation because they are far more accountable to the light that Heaven gave them than their fathers were before them because Jesus Christ, of course, has come from Heaven to preach, to teach and to die for their sins and for the sins of the world.

But they could not receive Him! They would not receive Him, through unbelief foretold in the Old Testament and found very clearly here in Luke chapter 11, and again unclean spirits play a part, I believe, in their unbelief.

Verse 53:

Chapter 11, verses 53-54: “And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.”

They hated Him without cause, and yet He came for them nevertheless. He preached to them nevertheless. He died for them nevertheless. So, what started back in verse 2 of chapter 11 praying for the kingdom to come has now been rejected at the end of chapter 11.

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). The Jews are now temporarily outside of the will of God, but we the Gentiles, we the Church, have been grafted in. And for here and now, the Church age, we are His people and we pray for Israel to believe and receive the Messiah as their King and Lord.

Next up: Luke chapter 12.

CHAPTER 12

Chapter 12, verse 1: “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

He’s still seething from the last verses from chapter 11, how they were “laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth.”

These people are really despicable. They were the worst of the worst. They’d been schooled, they’d been educated in the highest realms of Judaism, but their hearts were far from the Lord.

In Matthew chapter 2, when the wise men came to Jerusalem, Herod sought out the scribes, the lawyers, the academics. And he asked them where was the Messiah to be born, and they told him Bethlehem. But they did not go with the wise men to worship the Jewish Messiah. They stayed with Herod, a type of the Antichrist, of course.

And here, these Pharisees, these scribes, are now being condemned once again.

The Lord never minced His words, and like I said last time, this myth of Jesus being meek and mild is almost laughable. And like I said last time, we are to rebuke false teachers. The Lord did it here, and we are to do the same.

Verse 2:

Chapter 12, verse 2: “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.”

Whatever you have done in your life will not go unpunished. If you are not born again, one day everything that you have done will be revealed.

All these unsaved dictators that beat the rap, as they say, will one day stand in the presence of Almighty God, and they too will be judged. Every thought, word and deed will be judged. Nothing will escape the omniscient mind and eye of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 3:

Chapter 12, verse 3: “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

All these secret societies meet in darkness, and they do their deeds in darkness, and they curse those that would speak out against their secret societies, their secret codes, their secret rituals. But the Lord says one more time: “that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the house tops.”

So, every evil deed that has been done in secret and in darkness shall be revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and it will be proclaimed upon the house tops, meaning your private sins will one day be made public. You will be publicly shamed at the Great White Throne Judgement.

Every sin, every thought, every deed that you have ever done in secret He has seen and He will reveal it publicly at the Great White Throne Judgement, and you will want the ground beneath you to swallow you up.

But first of all, you will have to be judged in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Father and His holy angels.

Verse 4:

Chapter 12, verses 4-5: “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

Fear God! Here, the Lord once again doesn’t mince His words. He says, “Fear God.” Not just reverential fear, but shake, tremble in His presence! And shake and tremble when you handle His word, the Bible, of course.

One more time, “Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell [He kills, and He maketh alive (1 Samuel 2:6)]; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

In verse 4, He is speaking to His friends, quite possibly the disciples and vicariously the people (verse 1) that have gathered together in an innumerable number of people, a great multitude of people.

Like I said last time, hundreds if not thousands followed Him and hundreds if not thousands were healed by Him, but by Acts chapter 1, only 120 people were in the upper room, were the apostles and the disciples and the closest friends that He had; 120 people remained with Him right up until the end.

Also from verse 4, He says: “Be not afraid of them that kill the body.” Don’t fear man! “The fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25) but “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).

Mankind, if you are saved, can only do so much to you, in reference to damaging you or harming you or even killing you. But you really should be in fear of the Lord, because He has allowed all things to happen to you, whether good or evil, and He will allow all these things to come into your life to grow you, to strengthen you, so you can be a blessing to others, and so you can understand the holiness of the Lord God of the Bible.

Verse 6:

Chapter 12, verse 6: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?”

He even knows the stars. He counts the stars. He knows everything. He’s omnipresent, He’s omniscient and He’s omnipotent.

Verse 7:

Chapter 12, verse 7: “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

Mankind is made in the image of God. And those of us which have been born again are the most important individuals in the creation of the universe. We are greatly beloved because we have been born again.

But here you find very clearly how man is greater than the sparrows. Mankind is greater than the animal kingdom.

Verse 8:

Chapter 12, verse 8-9: “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.”

In reference to a person getting saved and going on to witness to other people. We have all been called to fulfil the Great Commission, but also this is in reference to those that refused to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. These cowards which refused to bend the knee, and He says here in verse 9: those that deny me before men shall be denied before the angels of God, making it very clear how there is going to be a Hell. There is going to be a judgement.

Only a few people from creation to the end of the world are going to be saved. Most people from creation to the end of the world are not going to be saved. This dream, this myth, this fable of people going to heaven when they die that have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ is a dreadful heresy. Here, the Lord Jesus Christ makes it very clear how He will deny those that have denied Him before men, meaning very clearly, one more time, those that refuse to bend the knee and believe on Him are going to be denied in the presence of the holy angels.

Verse 10:

Chapter 12, verse 10: “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.”

In reference to the unpardonable sin, found very clearly in Mark chapter 3. Those unsaved, wicked infidels — known as the Pharisees and the scribes and the lawyers, the academics — blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ. They declared to the people that all of His miracles were done thanks to Satan, thanks to the prince of the flies, Beelzebub.

And He said if you claim these miracles to Satan, if you believe these miracles have been done in the name of Satan, that is the unpardonable sin, and that can never be forgiven in this life or in the next life to come.

Verse 11:

Chapter 12, verse 11: “And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”

This is pretty much in reference to the apostles, I believe, that were going to face great persecution. Synagogue, Jewish. Magistrates, Gentiles.

The apostle Paul found himself throughout most of his life being interrogated for following the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostles were also going to be grilled for following the Lord Jesus Christ, found (of course) in the Book of Acts.

He’s speaking to the apostles as an exclusive group of individuals. The apostles were a one-off group of gentlemen. The apostles were equipped and chosen and skilled because they were a unique group of individuals. They couldn’t be duplicated, and they were never replaced.

So, here the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe, is speaking primarily to the apostles: take no thought what’s going to happen, “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”

And yet, at the same time, I will say this: that we as Bible-believing Christians living in the 21st century should know the law of the lands where we live. We should know what we can and cannot do. And we should certainly know the word of God inside out.

So, if we ever find ourselves standing in the presence of a magistrate, we too will know how to handle ourselves and we too will know what to say in that hour.

Verse 13:

Chapter 12, verses 13-14: “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?”

‘Hey man, what’s it gotta go with me?’ The King James Bible was very true to the original Greek autographs, written in Koine Greek. The King James Bible has been as true as is possible to translating a literal word-by-word translation. The Koine Greek New Testament written in the 1st century reflected the language of everyday people. And the Lord Jesus Christ spoke the language of everyday people. He didn’t live in palaces, He didn’t wear long garments, He wasn’t called “Holy Father.”

He was an everyday man. He lived and breathed and died with everyday people.

He was accessible to everyday people. He spoke the language of everyday people, unlike some of these popes, unlike some of these Protestant pastors and evangelists and leaders of these apostate churches.

He lived, He walked and He existed with everyday people.

Verse 15:

Chapter 12, verse 15: “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

There’s more to life than wealth and prosperity. The richest man in the grave will leave it all behind. “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

Money per se is not evil, but the love of money is evil.

And I’ll say this, if I may: the Lord Jesus Christ had nothing. The apostles, for the most part, had nothing. They lived almost hand to hand, day by day. They trusted in the Lord to provide for them, and He did.

Wealthy Christians would do well to spend their money wisely. The apostle Paul told us to make your moderation be made known to all men (Philippians 4:5). Live a simple life, if you can. The more money you have will cause you problems, but if you can live simply, you’ll be happier for the most part.

But above all, what you have now is only temporary. Focus on the kingdom of God. Focus on being a soul winner. And focus on being content with little, not more.

Verse 16:

Chapter 12, verses 16-20: “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”

Good question! You’ve worked all your life. You’ve saved up all of your life, and then one day the Lord is going to call you home. If you’re saved, to Heaven. If you’re not saved, to Hell. But “whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided.”

Verse 21:

Chapter 12, verse 21: “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Your heart should be focused on the things of the Lord. If you can support a frontline ministry that’s soul winning for the Lord, go for it!

If you can do it yourself, go for it as well. If you can travel overseas to support a mission field, go for it. But above all, do something for the Lord.

Verse 22:

Chapter 12, verses 22-23: “And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”

The apostles were provided for right up until they died.

If you are born again, He will provide for you right up until you die. That does not mean you sit back and do nothing. The Lord always blesses those that are out and about their Father’s business. He expects you to help yourself, and then He will help you to help yourself, but above all you must be doing something, for Him to do something for you.

Verse 24:

Chapter 12, verses 24-26: “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?”

Stop worrying! Let the Lord be the Lord. He will provide for you. He already has done by dying on the cross. Feed us day by day. Give us our daily bread. He’s already done it through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. And He will feed you physically if you get up and work. If you cannot work, that’s something else altogether.

But above all, He wants you to stop worrying, and He wants you to allow Him to provide for you. What a wonderful, loving, merciful Saviour that we have!

He went through everything that we ever went through. He understands totally our infirmities and weaknesses. He too lived the life that we are living, but His life was sinless, whereas our life is very sinful.

He came to save us from our sins. He was without sin; we are not without sin. But at the same time, He understands everything that we go through on a daily basis, because He too went through it Himself 2000-plus years ago.

Verse 27:

Chapter 12, verses 27-31: “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

The nations of the world seek after these things (unsaved men and women), and He’s saying: forget those people; your Father knows what you have need of, even before you ask Him. “But rather seek ye [all of you] the kingdom of God”, in reference to being saved and in reference to being provided for by the Lord God of the Bible, because “all these things [without exception] shall be added unto you”, not in reference to being healthy and wealthy all of the time.

As I said last time, the apostle Paul and Peter and John and Andrew had very little. The Lord Jesus Christ had nowhere to lay His head. But the Lord God of the Bible will always provide for you. He knows what you need, and He will give it to you. No more and no less!

And the last part of verse 28: “O ye of little faith”. Here, the Lord Jesus Christ is giving a very mild and loving and gentle rebuke. “O ye of little faith”. All of you are of little faith. Our God can do all things. Our God can do whatever He chooses to do. He spoke through a donkey. He allowed Satan to speak through a snake. He walked on water. He can do whatever He chooses to do, and sometimes the simplicity of Christ is lost on His own people. And, He says one more time: “O ye of little faith”. Why do you doubt? Why don’t you trust me? What I say, I will do. And what I promise, I will fulfil.

And in verse 30, in reference to the nation seeking after these things, even they are given blessings and provender. Even the unsaved people are blessed according to Matthew chapter 5. He makes the sun go up and down on unsaved people. He even provides food for unsaved people.

So, if He can provide these things for unsaved people, how much more is He going to do for those of us which have sought the Kingdom of God and will continue to go on with the King on a day-by-day basis.

The sky’s the limit, as they say, but for the Lord God of the Bible to bless us, to give us what we need, we have to be saved, we have to be walking in the Spirit, and above all, what we do has to be in the will of God.

He won’t give us what’s not in His will to give us. Sometimes our prayers go amiss because we don’t know what to be praying for. But according to Romans chapter 8, the Holy Spirit prays for us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us, as does the Lord Jesus Christ as our high Priest.

So, stop worrying and let God be God!

Verse 32:

Chapter 12, verse 32: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

He wants all men to be saved. He’s called all men to repent. He’s granted everlasting life to everyone without exception, but only those that appropriate the atonement, only those that believe on Him, are going to be saved.

“Don’t fear [don’t worry], little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

And I showed you last time how the Father here is in reference to Israel. Before you got saved, He wasn’t your Father. Before you got saved, He wasn’t even your God!

You were at enmity in your mind through wicked works, when it came to your understanding of the Lord God of the Bible.

So, take verses 31 and 32 together: “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Get saved, and the Lord God will do everything else. Fear not [don’t worry], little flock [and vicariously, all saved people]; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

He’s going to save you, and He is going to give you all those things that you want, if and when it’s His will to do so.

So, stop worrying! Trust in Him! And one more time, let God be God!

Verse 33:

Chapter 12, verses 33-34: “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

He wants the apostles to forsake everything and follow Him, and they did! Levi did so, Peter and Andrew did so, as did James and John. They forsook all and followed Him.

And here, He wants His apostles to sell everything that they have, in order for Him (the Lord God) to provide for them. This is very much a call to surrender. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

Faith for your salvation, and here faith in the Lord God of the Bible to provide for His disciples and apostles and all those that were going to follow Him whithersoever He went.

Please allow me to say the following before we move on to verse 35. These verses, of course, are aimed doctrinally to the people of Israel under the law. So, for those of us living today, we take these verses in a spiritual way.

Yes, He wanted the apostles to grow and understand and apply these verses to their lives, because He is speaking to them at this point in time pre-the New Covenant. And Matthew 5 to 8 outlines what is going to happen during the Millennial reign of Christ. So, His audience here is primarily the apostles and their associates.

Fast forward to the millennial reign of Christ: these verses will be applied literally to all subjects of the kingdom. But for here and now, those of us living in the Church age, these verses must be taken in a spiritual way, not a literal physical way. He’s not calling on all of us to forsake everything, because Paul told us if we don’t provide for our own families, we are worse than infidels.

So, please be cautious when you approach these verses.

Verse 35:

Chapter 12, verses 35-36: “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”

Be ready for the Lord’s return. This is not in reference to the Rapture, but to the Second Coming of Christ.

Verse 37:

Chapter 12, verses 37-41: “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?”

Here, the Lord Jesus Christ, as far as I am concerned, is speaking about the Second Coming of Christ, not the rapture of the Church. And yet, saying that, please allow me to say this: those of us living today in the Church age, that are born again, must be ready to go to be with the Lord at a moment’s notice.

Yes, He’s speaking primarily about the Second Coming. Yes, He’s speaking primarily about those living in the Great Tribulation, but I still think we can take these verses and apply them spiritually to those of us living today in the Church age.

Be ready for His return, because we don’t know when He’s going to come back.

And keep our testimonies clean, so we can receive a full reward at the Judgement Seat of Christ, but Peter says to Him in verse 41, “Speakest thou this parable unto us [the disciples], or even to all [the people without exception].”

And this demonstrates, one more time, how the apostle Peter was not infallible. None of the apostles were infallible. Only Jesus Christ is infallible, and only the word of God is infallible, too. The apostles were not infallible. No one is infallible, just the Lord Jesus Christ and the written word of God.

Verse 42:

Chapter 12, verses 42-48: “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

Here, we find the consequences of false converts, carnal Christians and ignorant Christians.

In verse 46, this is speaking of a false convert. In verse 47, this is speaking of a carnal Christian, and in verse 48, this is also speaking of a Christian, but this Christian is ignorant, and as such, the punishment varies.

Also, verse 46 pictures a false convert being condemned at the Great White Throne Judgement, whereas verses 47 and 48 picture saved people being publicly chastised and beaten at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

Your salvation is not the issue here. Your service is the issue here. So, as they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and ignorance of the word of God is no excuse either.

Verse 49:

Chapter 12, verse 49: “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?”

This is a literal fire at the Second Coming of Christ. This is not in reference to speaking in tongues, so-called, or being slain in the Spirit.

This is the meek-and-mild Jesus, so-called, coming back at the end of the Tribulation to burn this earth, to destroy this earth, to turn it upside down, to waste it, as they say.

Verse 50:

Chapter 12, verse 50: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”

This is not in reference to His water baptism, found in Matthew chapter 3. This is in reference to His death on the cross. He became a sin offering for us. He that knew no sin became sin for us.

Verse 51:

Chapter 12, verses 51-52: “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.”

Chapter 2 verse 14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Peace between God and man through the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But in Chapter 12, verse 51, He hasn’t come to bring peace to the earth, but rather division, in reference to service. It’s going to cost you something to follow Him. Five people in one house: three against two and two against three.

The call to serve the Lord Jesus Christ will cost you something.

Verse 53:

Chapter 12, verses 53-54: “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”

A divided family is very painful, and the Lord Jesus Christ knew what this meant. He knew what this felt like to be living in a divided family. His own brethren for many years did not believe on Him, and His mother failed many times to grasp the enormity of her Son’s ministry.

Verse 55:

Chapter 12, verses 55-57: “And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?”

They could see what was happening in the skies around them, but they could not see what was happening right under their very noses. He that has eyes to see, let him see and he that has ears to hear, let him hear.

Verse 58:

Chapter 12, verses 58-59: “When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.”

These verses are not in reference to purgatory, because in purgatory you are expected to have a third party pray for you. These verses are in reference to a Jew finding himself arrested and held in detention, and he and he alone has to pay a mite in verse 59 to be let out, to be set free.

But these verses are really an expansion from chapter 6, versus 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31, very much in reference to the Jews under the law.

If somebody smighteth thee (verse 29), turn the other cheek. If somebody wants your cloak, forbid him not. It’s the same sort of language here. And also, this is found in Matthew chapter 5 through 8, but purgatory — as far as the Catholic is concerned — these verses are not.

Next up, Luke chapter 13.

CHAPTER 13

Chapter 13, verses 1-3: “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Repentance does not mean to turn from your sins. Repentance means to turn from yourself to the Lord.

If you came to the Lord as an unbeliever, you turned from your unbelief to the Lord. If you came to the Lord as a Catholic, you turned from your Catholicism to the Lord. And if you were a Protestant, or a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness, you turned from those false religions unto the Lord.

Please turn to Acts chapter 17. Look at verse 22. And here, we discover Paul about to witness to pagans, Gentiles. And he wants these men to be saved.

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:22-31).

There, you find the apostle Paul making it very clear how these Gentiles, these pagans, have spent all their life being too superstitious in verse 22, worshipping an unknown God in verse 23, and Paul says, here I am to declare unto you the unknown God.

And he makes it very clear in verses 29 going down to 30 how God commands all men everywhere, right now, to repent, to change your mind.

Paul did not tell these people to turn from all of their sins in order to be saved. He says: come to the Lord, believe on the Lord.

Scripture with Scripture. In Acts chapter 20, verse 21, Paul is still speaking in reference to being saved: “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Repentance to God, acknowledging that God is God, acknowledging that He is the one true God in the universe, and then faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

And I’ll give you one more Scripture from Acts chapter 16, verse 29, in reference to the Philippian jailer moments from suicide: “Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Believe on the Saviour, trust in the Saviour, accept the Saviour: to as many as received Him, to them gave He the right, the power, the authority to be called the sons of God.

Faith in Christ alone. Sola fide, as the Reformers quite rightly called it. Repentance and faith are synonymous.

Turn from unbelief to belief. Turn from yourself to Him, and He will save you to the uttermost.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 13, verse 4:

Chapter 13, verses 4-5: “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

“All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Everyone without exception is worthy of hellfire.

In Romans chapter 1, Paul said you are worthy of death if you are an enemy of God, but the Scripture also tells us that “while we were yet sinners [in our worst possible state], Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

He took the full punishment of sin on Himself. He took all of our sins ‒ past, present and future ‒ on Himself and left them on the cross. He nailed them to His cross. He was totally victorious after dying on the cross.

And after three days, God the Father resurrected Him from the dead, as did God the Son (John chapter 2), as did God the Holy Spirit (Romans chapter 8). The triune God made the earth, and the triune God resurrected the Lord Jesus Christ.

One more time from verse 5: “I tell you, Nay [no way!]: but except ye repent [all of you], ye shall all likewise perish [go to Hell when you die]”. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

It’s His way or the highway. He’s the only Saviour under Heaven that has come to die for our sins, and He is the only Saviour that has the authority to die for our sins. When you sin against God, only God Himself can forgive you. Therefore, Jesus Christ must be God.

Verse 6:

Chapter 13, verses 6-10: “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.”

Here, the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to the Jews in a synagogue on the Sabbath. And this tree, of course, this vineyard is in reference to Israel. And God the Father says: cut it down; it has not brought forth any fruit. And the Lord Jesus says: no, let’s allow it one more year to see what happens and if then, if it still doesn’t bring forth fruit, I will cut it down.

This is very much a picture of Israel living on borrowed time. Israel being the fig tree and the Lord Jesus Christ being the dresser. These analogies were used time after time during the 1st century.

The Lord Jesus Christ was a travelling rabbi. He used metaphors like no one had ever done before Him. And He’s still speaking in parables, verse 6, because many of His initial audience are outside of the kingdom of God, cast off through the prophecy of Isaiah and Jeremiah, but decided here by these people living in time. In other words, they decided that they would reject Him in time. And the Old Testament prophets saw that through foreknowledge, through middle knowledge, and they wrote down what they saw happening in their future.

This is man’s free will to either believe on the Lord Jesus Christ or to reject Him. And the people of Israel, for the most part, decided to reject Him of their own free will.

Verse 11:

Chapter 13, verses 11-13: “And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”

This woman had been bound by Satan for 18 years, and the Lord Jesus Christ steps in to the equation once again and heals her straight away, immediately! And she was made straight! She stands upright, and she glorifies the Lord God of the Bible. Incredible!

Who would you suggest could do this today? I say no one anywhere in the world could do this. But Jesus Christ did it, because He was sent to the house of Israel to heal the sick (Isaiah 61) and to die for our sins (Isaiah 53).

Verse 14:

Chapter 13, verse 14: “And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.”

Once again we find the religious elite, the so-called “holy fathers”, stepping in and trying to thwart, trying to overthrow, trying to undermine the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. These people despised Him. These people felt threatened by Him.

If all men believe on Him (John chapter 11), the Romans will come and take away our kingdom (verse 48).

The same is true of the Roman Catholic Church. If all of these people believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in Him alone, all of our priests will go out of business literally overnight, and the mass therefore will be irrelevant, Mary will be irrelevant, the saints will be irrelevant. It’s the same sort of theme. Organised religion has always been fearful of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 15:

Chapter 13, verses 15-16: “The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?”

She was a daughter of Israel, and she’d been bound by Satan, which makes it very clear that no one is immune from being possessed by Satan.

Eighteen years is a very long time to be bound by Satan. Many people, before they got saved, have been bound by unclean spirits. And once they got saved, once they got set free, they fell in love with the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

And here, the Lord Jesus Christ is once again battling organised religion. His patience was remarkable, but He came to set the example to His apostles.

He came to show His apostles the sort of persecution and suffering that they were also going to have to expect. And the same is true of us today. If we love the Lord Jesus Christ and we follow Him, we too are going to have to battle on many occasions organised religion, indifference, hostility and downright heresy and blasphemy. Not in a physical way, of course, but in a spiritual way.

Our sword is the word of God, nothing more and nothing less.

Verse 17:

Chapter 13, verse 17: “And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”

The common people, for the most part, gladly believed on Him and followed Him. But as always, the educated elite had problems following this man. This man ‒ the Lord Jesus Christ ‒ never went to a synagogue to be educated. He never went to university to be educated. He was never ordained by organised religion.

He decided to use His second cousin, John the Baptist, to baptise Him. He totally bypassed organised religion. So, you can see why these people, these professors, these PhD’s, these BA’s, these ThD’s, despised Him so much: you haven’t been to our university, you haven’t been schooled in our universities, you’re not cut from the same cloth as we are.

They hated Him, and they despised Him. And you can see why, can’t you?

And the same is very true of us today. We too are despised, those of us which have not been schooled in universities, or so-called Bible seminaries, those of us which are self-taught. We too are despised, criticised, hated and mocked. And you know what? We’re in good company!

Also, from verse 17, this term “adversaries” is also in reference to Satan. He is called an adversary, he’s called an accuser. So, we find these people perhaps being indwelt by unclean devils, unclean spirits. And the Lord Jesus Christ made them ashamed. He shut them out, something the apostle Paul did also in the Book of Acts when he came into the presence of King Agrippa

Verse 18:

Chapter 13, verses 18-19: “Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.”

These fowls could be demons. The wheat and the tares in Matthew 13 grow together, side by side in the kingdom. Saved people and unsaved people live among each other. And for the most part, we don’t even know which ones are saved and which ones are not saved.

Also from 2 Corinthians chapter 4, verse 4, Satan is called the god of this world. Satan and his minions are very interested in Bible-believing Christianity. They are very interested in the things of God. So, these fowls lodge in the branches of the Kingdom of God, in reference of course to the garden, which pictures the Kingdom of God, which pictures the Church, but in a spiritual sense of course.

Verse 20:

Chapter 13, verses 20-21: “And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

Leaven, of course, is bread. And leaven is also in reference to false teaching. This woman could be a picture of the great whore, the great harlot found in Revelation chapter 17. But you were told to be mindful of the leaven. You were told to study the Scriptures each and every day, to show yourself approved unto God, because heresy can kill, and false teaching can damn souls to Hell.

Verse 22:

Chapter 13, verse 22: “And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.”

His ministry was a very busy ministry. For 3 1/2 years, He crisscrossed Israel. He preached to many people, quite possibly on more than one occasion. He did so, really, for the benefits of the apostles. He was schooling them. He was teaching them, and yet at the same time He wanted these people to be saved. He loves His creation. He does love His world. It’s conditional, of course, on believing on Him. But He still loves them, nevertheless.

Verse 23:

Chapter 13, verses 23-24: “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

He’s the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He’s the door (John 10:9). He’s the key. He’s the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). He’s the way, the truth and the life. He is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16). He is the sinless lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19).

And here, He says, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate [the narrow gate]” “Strive [work, apply] to enter in at the strait gate: for many [not some, ‘for many’; not a few, ‘for many’] I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

Please turn to Proverbs chapter 16. Look at verse 25: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

“There are many ways to go heaven,” we are told. “All roads lead to Rome,” we are told. But here, the Scripture says, “there is a way that seemeth right unto a man.” “I have my truth, you have your truth.” “Let’s agree to disagree.” This is all vain, foolish talk: “but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

People think they are right, but they are wrong unless it lines up with the word of God.

Please go back to Luke chapter 13, verse 24 one time: “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

“I was baptised,” “I was christened,” “I go to this church,” “I go to that church,” “I tithe,” “I do this,” “I’m a good person,” “You can’t judge me,” blah, blah, blah.

These people are all foolish, lost sinners. These people all want to heaven, but they don’t want to die. And if they die as they are, they will go to Hell, not Heaven. Why? Because they have not been born again. They’ve never seen their sin and, therefore, they have never seen their need to believe, to trust, to receive the Saviour who is a strait gate, who is the door, who is the bread from Heaven (John 6:35).

Come to Him! No one else will do. Mohammed won’t save you. The pope won’t save you. Mary, the mass, going to church, being a Mason, being a Hindu, being a Freemason, being a Jew won’t save you.

Many will want to go to Heaven, according to this piece of Scripture, but most won’t make it. Why? Because they have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. They have not received Him as their substitutionary atonement.

Verse 25:

Chapter 13, verses 25-26: “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.”

“Lord, Lord.” These are religious people. These are people that think they know Him. These are people that claim to have followed Him!

In Matthew chapter 7, they tell Him: we have done many wonderful works in thy sight.

And verse 26 gives us an interesting clue as to whom these people are. “We have eaten and drunk in thy presence.” Roman Catholics! They believe in the Eucharist, eating the body of Christ, drinking the blood of Christ. “We have eaten and drunk in thy presence,” during the mass, of course!

“And thou hast taught in our streets,” the stations of the cross, which is reenacted every Easter, and many times on the streets of Catholic countries. “We have eaten and drunk in thy presence.” We were told that you were in the Eucharist. We were told that the priest had power to call Jesus down from Heaven and crucify Him afresh on the altar. We believed that the Eucharist contained the blood and the wafer contained the body of Christ.

But look at verse 27:

Chapter 13, verse 27: “But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”

I don’t know you. I have never known you. Depart from me you workers of iniquity.

God hates all workers of iniquity (Psalm 5:5). God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). These people were never saved to begin with. He doesn’t say, I once knew you and you fell into error and apostasy and false teaching. He says, I never knew you, depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.

These are religious people in verses 25, 26 and 27. And He says, I never knew you, depart from me into hellfire. A picture of a false convert, alluded to in verse 21, the leaven linked to a woman which took it and hid it in three measures of a meal. I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of iniquity.

Please examine yourself in light of Scripture. Please make sure you have truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, that you have received Him as your substitutionary atonement and that you are trusting in Him alone, not trusting in your good works (Matthew chapter 7, verses 21 down to 23) and not trusting in the Eucharist (in verse 26), how these people have eaten and drunk in thy presence, trusting in their works to be saved.

And He says to them one more time, verse 27: “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are.” I don’t know where you are from. Depart from me, all of you, all of ye, every one of you, all of you, you workers of iniquity.

These are unsaved people, these are unregenerate sinners. Religious, yes! Proverbs 16. But regenerate, no! Verse 27. “Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”

Please be careful, my friends, if you’re not saved. Being religious won’t save you. Being regenerated is what will save you from your sins.

Verse 28:

Chapter 13, verses 28-29: “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”

There’s a picture of the Gentiles being included in the coming Kingdom of God. In John chapter 10, the Lord spoke about having other people that were not yet of His flock (in reference, of course, to the Gentiles), and here, once again He is referring to hellfire, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in verse 28.

The people of Israel have been warned time after time to repent, to turn back to the Lord God of the Bible: you will see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the Jewish patriarchs, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you yourselves, unfaithful, unbelieving Israel, will be thrust out, and you will see it from afar.

In Luke 16, the rich man in Hell could see Father Abraham. They could see one another; they could communicate with one another. But the rich man in Hell could not reach Father Abraham: you can’t come to us, we cannot come to you.

Once you die, your abode is fixed. If you die unsaved, you remain unsaved. If you die saved, you remain saved: you cannot come to us, we cannot come to you. It’s all about here and now, so “make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).

Chapter 13, verse 30: “And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.”

Come as you are! We all get saved the same way. There’s no pecking order in Heaven. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Come as you are, and He will receive you, He will save you, He will regenerate you, and He will put you into the coming Kingdom of God.

Verse 31:

Chapter 13, verse 31: “The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.”

These Pharisees were not interested in the welfare of the Lord Jesus. They were more interested in preserving their kingdom. He, the Lord Jesus, was a threat to them and to their kingdom, or so they thought. Hence why they say to Him, “Get thee out… for Herod will kill thee.”

Chapter 13, verse 32: “And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”

In reference, of course, to His soon resurrection, John chapter 2.

“Tell that fox [Herod], Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow.” Herod knew who the Lord Jesus Christ was, and he was very desirous to see Him. But the Lord Jesus Christ was not interested in being a man-pleaser.

He came unto His own (John 1:11) to save them, but for here and now, He’s moving on from the Pharisees to Herod, to being crucified, to being resurrected.

Chapter 13, verse 33: “Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.”

He couldn’t die anywhere else but Jerusalem, and once again He is prophesying as to how He is going to die and where He is going to die.

Verse 34:

Chapter 13, verse 34: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”

Through free will, they would not come to Him. How often He wanted to bring them to Him! But they, through their free will, rejected Him as they did to the prophets and kings before them. “How often [not once, not twice, but ‘how often’] would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings.”

Once again, this is hyperbole language. He’s not a physical door, He’s not a physical hen, and He’s not physically a key. These are metaphors demonstrating His love for the people of Jerusalem.

Chapter 13, verse 35: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

In reference, of course, to the Second Coming, and also in reference to chapter 11, this unclean spirit wandering around seeking to find somewhere to rest.

The Lord Jesus Christ set the Jews free from sin. He redeemed them, but they rejected Him! And now, their house is open, infested by unclean spirits.

Satan, as a god of this world, has blinded them. There’s now a spirit of slumber and apathy and unbelief in the house of Israel.

“Your house is left unto you desolate.” The house of Israel, at this point in time, is now desolate. At this point in time, the house of Israel is outside of the will of God. At this point in time, religious Judaism, religious Israel, if it prays to the Lord, their prayers will not be heard.

The land of Israel is something else altogether, but religious Israel ‒ Judaism, as it’s known today ‒ is outside of the Kingdom of God. “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

The words of the Lord Jesus Christ have not been changed in over 2000 years. There’s no temple anywhere in the world that sacrifices animals on behalf of the people of Israel. Why? Because “your house is left unto you desolate” and until you say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39), you will remain outside of the will of God, outside of the kingdom of God.

So, for here and now, we ‒ the born-again Bible believers ‒ are the people of God, and we pray for Israel, but as far as the Lord is concerned, they are outside of the Kingdom of God, through their own free will, through their rejection of the Messiah.

And one quick footnote, if I may (before this broadcast ends), in reference to Luke chapter 12, verse 44: “Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath” in reference, of course, to the Millennial Reign.

Your salvation is simply dependent on believing and receiving the free gift of salvation from the Lord Jesus Christ, but to rule and reign with Him in the Millennial Reign is dependent on what you do after you have been saved.

And I showed you last time, from verses 47 and 48, what will happen to carnal or ignorant Christians before they go in to the Millennial Reign: beaten with many stripes, beaten with few stripes. Your salvation, once more time, is not dependent here. Your service is what is in question here. What you did after you were saved is what these verses are referring to, not (thankfully) our salvation!

Next up, Luke chapter 14.

CHAPTER 14

Chapter 14, verse 1: “And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.”

Once again, we discover the Lord entering into a home, this time of a chief Pharisee. It would be nice to say that perhaps after the death of the Lord, this Pharisee got saved. We can’t say either way, because the Scripture does not tell us.

But once again, the Lord is out and about, pressing the flesh, as they say. And they watched Him, as they did. Time after time, they watched Him.

And if you are born again, people will watch you, and people will listen to what you say. They’ll watch you to see what you do in any given situation, and they will listen to what comes out of your mouth, because you are born again. The world watch you like a hawk.

And here, once again these people are watching Him, trying to find fault.

Verse 2:

Chapter 14, verses 2-6: “And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things.”

This almost pictures the Great White Throne Judgement. People will stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will ask them questions and they will fail to respond to Him. Every mouth will be stopped, but these verses very much demonstrate the instigator that the Lord Jesus Christ was. He would answer a question with a question.

And I’ll say this also. If this chief Pharisee and his associates weren’t saved, then perhaps some of their company were. There’s a reason why the Lord will enter into the house of this chief Pharisee. His time was precious. He wouldn’t have wasted His time, and He knew from eternity past who would believe on Him and who would not. So, His presence there must have served a great purpose.

Verse 7:

Chapter 14, verses 7-11: “And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Humble yourself, and the Lord will raise you up. Humble yourself, and the Lord will save you.

And look at the switch to a parable in verse 7: He witnesses to them, they won’t hear Him, so He switches to a parable. Once again, a picture of judgement. These people are outside of the Kingdom of God. The King is there in their presence, but their hearts are far from Him, so He switches to parables, that seeing they may not see and hearing they may not hear (Matthew 13:13).

Verse 12:

Chapter 14, verses 12-14: “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”

I knew a man some years ago called Malcolm. Malcolm was a homeless man, and when I would see him, I would speak to him. I gave him tracts, I gave him food. And during one winter, it was very cold, and I found him behind the supermarket. And I said to him, “How are you, Malcolm? And he said, “Fine.” He was a man of few words, and I said to him, “Are you cold?” He said, “Yes.” And I said to him, “Do you want some blankets?” And he said, “No, I’m okay. Thank you.” And for the most part, he was very independent. But one day, I saw him going through the rubbish bins (or the garbage bins, as they call them in America, the trash bins), and I said to him, “Are you okay?” And he said, “Yes.” And I opened my front door, and I said to him, “Do you want to come in?” And he said, “No, thank you.” And he turned around and walked off. What little I was able to do for that man will be recompensed to me at the Judgement. He couldn’t give anything back to me, but I was more than happy to do something for Malcolm.

Some years later, I read in the local newspaper that Malcolm had been found dead. He was a homeless man. He spent most of his life living on the streets. And I witnessed to him. I did what I could for Malcolm. I even opened my house to him. I offered him the opportunity to come into my home, to have some food, to even have a bath. And he said, “No, thank you,” and he turned around and walked off into the winter’s night.

I did my bit for him, and at the Judgement I will be recompensed. Faith without works is dead, and works without faith is dead as well. If you are saved, your works will shine. And if you are saved, people will know that you are saved. They will watch you, and they will listen to you to see if you are any different to them. And if you are saved, you will be different to unsaved people.

Verse 15:

Chapter 14, verse 15: “And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”

Perhaps this party was the reason for the Lord Jesus Christ entering into the house of the chief Pharisee. The Kingdom of God here is in reference to the Millennial Reign. See, he was not far from the Kingdom of God. His heart was not far from receiving the message of the Lord Jesus Christ. There’s a reason for everything that we find in Scripture. The Lord did nothing without a purpose behind it.

Verse 16:

Chapter 14, verses 16-17: “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.”

This certain man in verse 16 pictures God the Father. The great supper is a picture of salvation, and His servant, of course, is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Come; for all things are now ready.” Here, we find a general call to salvation.

Verse 18:

Chapter 14, verses 18-24: “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

“Compel them to come in” in verse 23 was used to justify the Spanish Inquisition, but here the Lord Jesus Christ is making it very clear how we are to compel people to the love of God, to come to the Saviour to be saved. We don’t force people to come into the Kingdom of God. The Roman Catholic Church slaughtered 50 million people over 600 years on the orders of 80 popes. In John Calvin’s police state, dozens of people were put to death for their faith.

Bible Christianity does not force people to believe to be saved. Unlike the Catholics, unlike the Calvinists and unlike the Muslims around the world today, we don’t force anyone to come to the Saviour to be saved.

These people in verses 18, 19, 20 and 21 were given the chance to be saved, and one by one, with their poor and lame excuses, decline the offer to be saved, which pictures salvation. Salvation has been made available to all people, but only those that believe on Him and receive His message will be saved.

So, nobody will be in Hell saying: Lord, you did not love me; Lord, you did not die for me. He did everything that was necessary to redeem mankind unto Himself, and these people put up some very poor excuses: I got married and, therefore, I cannot come, I bought a piece of ground and, therefore, I cannot come. I bought five yoke of oxen and, therefore, I cannot come.

And by verse 21, and quite right and quite understandably, the master of the house is angry. A picture of the Lord God of the Bible. He says, “Compel them to come in.” Go even further afield. Reach out to “the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”

My kingdom is available to anyone and everyone, but there is one condition. You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. And verse 24, one more time: “For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” This pictures the Lord turning from the people of Israel. How many more times could He go from house to house, door to door, city to city, village to village, preaching to them if they were going to continue to reject Him. He went to the chief Pharisee’s house, quite possibly hoping to reach out to the man found very clearly here in verse 15.

Verse 25:

Chapter 14, verses 25-27: “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

You were told to honour your mother and your father. You’re also told to provide for your family. So, this piece of Scripture very clearly makes it clear that you are to love Him more than them in order to be His disciple. You are not expected to hate these people in the way, in the sense, in the meaning to do them harm.

You were told in 1 John chapter 3 that if you hated your brother, you were a murderer. So, be careful when approaching these pieces of Scripture. Love for the Lord should be supreme in comparison to how much you love your mother, your father, your brethren, your sisters, your husbands, your wives and your children.

And verse 27: to bear your cross would mean to be publicly identified with the Lord Jesus Christ. It meant ridicule, it meant shame, and in some situations it would even mean death. To be saved is very simple, but to be a faithful disciple is very difficult. Salvation is one thing. Service is something else all together.

Verse 28:

Chapter 14, verses 28-33: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

And here, once again, the Lord is making it very clear that to follow Him is going to cost you something.

To be saved is very simple: to call, to believe, to trust on Him.

But to follow Him could quite possibly cost you your life. So, weigh up the options. Weigh up the pros and cons before deciding to “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).

Verse 34:

Chapter 14, verses 34-35: “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Salt as good –verse 34– but once it loses its taste, it becomes worthless. A Bible-believing Christian that burns out, a Bible-believing Christian that falls by the wayside, a Bible-believing Christian that falls into carnality becomes useless, worthless and ends up in the dunghill, in the dump, in the rubbish tip.

Your salvation is very precious. Your testimony should be very precious to you, and your service to Him should be very important to you as well.

He never minced His words. He made it very clear that to follow Him would be difficult. He expects perfection. He knows we cannot give Him perfection, but He does expect holiness and faithfulness and long servitude. “He that hath ears to hear [verse 35], let him hear.”

One more time, sit down and weigh up the pros and the cons when it comes to following Him, because the chances are it will cost you something to follow Him.

Next up, Luke chapter 15.

CHAPTER 15

Chapter 15, verse 1: “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.”

Once again, this is almost a paradox. Unsaved publicans and sinners wanting to hear Him, along with the Pharisees and the scribes. The Lord Jesus Christ, so much to His credit, never once showed these people any animosity. Yes, He despised their hypocrisy, their backbiting and their indifference towards Him and His Father.

But, at the same time He did love them. He does love His creation.

Verse 2:

Chapter 15, verse 2: “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is very much like a doctor. He came for the sick. And unless you are sick, you won’t need a doctor. Hence, why these people –self-righteous Pharisees and scribes– murmured, despised, tried to undermine Him, much like their fathers did in the Old Testament with Moses. They murmured at the true Bread of Life.

This man receives sinners and eats with them. How else was He going to reach these unsaved people? Organised religion couldn’t do it. So, He had to come to earth and live a life that we could never live. He had to come to earth, and fulfil the law that we could never fulfil. He was a man’s man, as they say.

Verse 3:

Chapter 15, verses 3-4: “And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”

Once again, He uses an analogy, but this time a sheep. And sheep are very docile. Sheep need to have a shepherd to shepherd them.

We are His sheep, of course. And we are very docile, at the same time. Hence, why we need the written word of God to know the will of God for our lives. Take the Bible out of the equation: we would never know right from wrong and we would never know the true will of God for our lives.

“What man of you [addressed to the Pharisees] having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”

Sheep are very expensive, as well. Your salvation was purchased with a great price. If you are born again, you mean the world to the Lord. Outside the triune God, if you are born again, you are the most important person in the world to the triune God.

Verse 5:

Chapter 15, verse 5: “And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”

Please turn to Isaiah chapter 9. Take a look at verse 6, please: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Here, you find the Lord Jesus Christ referred to as the everlasting Father, “and the government shall be upon his shoulder.”

So, this piece of Scripture from Luke 15:5 affirms a) His deity and b) how He will come for you, and He will find you, and He will lay you on His shoulder. Eternal security without a doubt! And He will rejoice because that which was lost has been found.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 15, and take a look at verse 6:

Chapter 15, verse 6: “And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

Now the party is about to commence, which pictures a) salvation and b) the great marriage supper of the Lord.

Verse 7:

Chapter 15, verse 7: “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

They rejoice in heaven every time a sinner gets saved. If you are a soul winner, you are greatly beloved by the Lord God of the Bible. But there is no rejoicing in heaven over the ninety-nine just people, the ninety-nine self-righteous, super-duper, arrogant sinners that snub the Lord, that treat Him with contempt. No rejoicing whatsoever when these people reject the gospel and throw it back in the face of the Lord.

Verse 8:

Chapter 15, verses 8-9: “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.”

This almost mirrors Matthew chapter 13, verse 45: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” These two pieces of Scripture match one another quite remarkably. You sell all that you have and then you go out to buy the kingdom of God, meaning you forsake everything and turn around and “follow the Lamb of God whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).

Verse 10:

Chapter 15, verse 10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Rejoicing eternally in the heavenly places every time a person gets saved.

If you are born again, your job is to be a soul winner. You may not win someone every single day of the week, but your efforts are going to be greatly rewarded at the Judgement Seat of Christ if you are saved.

And if you’re not a soul winner, get busy for the Lord, because they are rejoicing in Heaven every time a person repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 11:

Chapter 15, verses 11-12: “And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.”

Once again, the Lord is about to use another great analogy. The Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest storyteller that ever lived.

Solomon was very wise, but Solomon was not a match for the Lord Jesus Christ the everlasting Father, not in reference to God the Father, of course. But in reference to the Lord’s ministry, the Lord’s relationship to the people of Israel and vicariously for those of us that are also believed on Him.

Verse 13:

Chapter 15, verse 13: “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”

He had free will, and he was the son of his father.

Verse 14:

Chapter 15, verse 14: “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”

A famine always pictures the righteous anger and judgements of the Lord God of the Bible. Africa has had famines for years, which pictures the Lord’s displeasure with the people of Africa. Most of Africa now is either in bondage to Marxism or Islam, and the Lord hates both man-made systems. He detests both ideologies, because they are killing the people, they are starving the people and they are causing the people on many occasions to fall into all sorts of wicked sins, hence why the famine has remained on those lands for so many years.

Verse 15:

Chapter 15, verse 15: “And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”

Swines, pigs, were unclean animals. This Jew has truly fallen from grace. I showed you last time how the Lord cast out devils into the herd of swine, and they ran into the sea and were choked and drowned. So, for a Jew to be feeding swine truly pictures the downfall of a son of Abraham.

Verse 16:

Chapter 15, verse 16: “And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”

This man is almost near starvation. He is now truly in trouble. He strayed from the Lord God of Israel in verse 12, and this is going to result in him coming to himself. This is going to result in him repenting, turning back to his father. Repentance, one more time, is not turning from all your sins, because you are a sinner, you are born in sin. But repentance is a turn, turning from unbelief to belief. And on this occasion, humbling yourself, coming to yourself, turning back to your Father, in reference to God, of course.

Verse 17:

Chapter 15, verse 17: “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!”

My father, my God loves me without exception. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). But if you humble yourself, He will exalt you and He will reach out and save you. He will reach out and forever keep you safe.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). The Lord’s speaking here, but very much in reference to His desire for mankind to be saved.

Also from 17, “he came to himself.” No irresistible grace was used here. He was dead, and yet he came to himself. Before you got saved, you still knew the difference between right and wrong. And this man here is proof of that. Were you dead in your sins? Yes! Were you totally depraved? No! You knew the difference between right and wrong, and this man is living proof of that.

Verse 18:

Chapter 15, verses 18-19: “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

This is true humility with a capital “H”. “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And [therefore] am no more worthy to be called thy son.” When you sin against God, only God can forgive you. And when you sin against God, you need to confess it to Him, first of all. Because you have sinned, you have offended Him and Heaven at the same time.

This man, this wayward son, was prepared to be a cast-off. He was prepared to be excommunicated, in reference to being his father’s son. “Make me as one of thy hired servants.” The Lord Jesus told us we are no longer His servants, we are His friends. We’ve been elevated up to the place of near royalty.

Verse 20:

Chapter 15, verse 20: “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”

What a great picture of God the Father running to a repentant sinner. Even before the sinner has finished praying, He runs to him. He falls on his neck, and kisses him. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

His call to repentance is unlimited. Come as you are, and He will receive you as you are. He will make you alive from within. Verse 20, one more time: “But when he was yet a great way off.” He’s still running. He’s still trying to reach out to his father, to be forgiven, and spiritually speaking for us today to be saved. When the father runs to him, and falls on him, and kisses him.

This love is not found in Islam. This love is not found in Catholicism. This love is not found in Buddhism or Sikhism or Freemasonry, but this love is found very clearly in the written word of God.

And verse 20, one final time: “And he arose, and came to his father.” You have to believe on the Lord, you have to come to the Lord. You have to turn to the Lord, in order to be saved. He won’t come to you. He has already reconciled the world unto himself. He stands at the door and knocks (Revelation 3:20), but He expects you to arise and open the door unto Him.

Verse 21:

Chapter 15, verse 21: “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.”

Your sin, before you got saved, was against God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. And, therefore, Heaven was unable to receive you into that Holy place until you turned from yourself to God and sought forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ. But this still pictures a wayward son, someone who has backslidden and needs to be forgiven and received back into his Father’s abode.

Verse 22:

Chapter 15, verses 22-24: “But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

He “was dead, and is alive again.” “He came to himself” in verse 17. He wasn’t physically dead in verse 24. He was spiritually dead in verse 24. But he wasn’t totally depraved. He wasn’t totally cut off, because he came to himself. He turned back to his father, which proves, one time, that total depravity is not scriptural. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Before you say you were dead in your sins, but you still knew the difference between right and wrong. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again.” He was lost, he strayed away from me, but I went looking for him. Verse 4: I left the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and I found him and I laid him on my shoulders because I am the everlasting Father and I love my own to perfection.

And verse 22, one more time: “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet”, again picturing royalty. God is royal, the Lord Jesus Christ is Royal. The Lord Jesus Christ forsook everything to come to earth, and He died without anything. He forsook everything to come to earth and die for our sins. But He is the Prince of peace. He is the everlasting Father, and here a picture of His son turning back to Him has now been received back into His heavenly abode: Put a robe on him, and shoes on his feet, and a ring on his hand. What a great picture of forgiveness and redemption!

Verse 25:

Chapter 15, verse 25: “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.”

Once again, picturing the marriage supper of the Lamb. But we will and we can use these verses in a spiritual sense to point to the picture of salvation. He heard music and dancing coming from the house, in reference to verse 10, rejoicing in the presence of angels in Heaven, of course. There’s a great party over this repentant sinner coming back to his father.

Verse 26:

Chapter 15, verse 26: “And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.”

He had no idea what was going on. His relationship to his father was not that close; hence, why he is now found here having to go through a third party: What’s happening? Please explain this to me.

Verse 27:

Chapter 15, verses 27-28: “And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.”

Once again, picturing his father’s love for both of his sons. But this second son, this older son, pictures an unrighteous Pharisee. This older brother should have been happy that his younger brother had been found safe and sound, but he’s self-righteous. He was externally holy, but within he was flawed. He was in need of regeneration.

Verse 29:

Chapter 15, verses 29-30: “And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”

What a picture of self-righteousness! I never transgressed any of your commands? Of course you did! There’s not a just man on the face of the earth (Ecclesiastes 7:20). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Without exception!

And he says in verse 30 how your son has devoured your living with harlots, prostitutes, immoral women. But the Lord Jesus came for sinners, not the self-righteous. The Lord Jesus Christ is like a doctor, and the Church is like a hospital, and yet his father here wants to placate him. His father here wants to bring him into the fold. His father loved his oldest son, and he wanted his oldest son to rejoice in the fact that his younger brother, his wayward son, had strayed from the fold, but he came back and the older brother should have been happy that his younger brother had been found, restored, and above all that his father was happy again. But he was dead from within. Externally, he was very holy, he was very self-righteous. But within, internally, he was flawed. He was still in need of regeneration.

Verse 31:

Chapter 15, verse 31: “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”

Without exception! He has two sons. He wants the best for his sons, and he’s still trying to reach out to his eldest son.

Verse 32:

Chapter 15, verse 32: “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

It was right that we should do this. Your brother was dead spiritually, not physically, but now is alive again. Why? Because he came to himself (verse 17): and I ran to him, I fell on his neck and kissed him (verse 20), so come to me and I will save you to the uttermost.

And I’ll say this also, in reference to the Lord’s long-suffering and desire for mankind to be saved.

Please turn to Isaiah 65: take a look at verse 2, please: “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”

Look at verse 1: “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.”

His hands are stretched out all the day unto a rebellious people. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” He wants people to be saved, and these verses make that abundantly clear. “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good,” in reference, of course, to the people of Isaiah’s time, but also in reference to the people of the Lord Jesus Christ’s time as well.

Israel was in apostasy during the time of Isaiah, and Israel was in apostasy during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Israel to this present day is still in apostasy, so we pray for them because the Lord God of the Bible loves them and wants them to believe on His only begotten Son.

Please go back to Luke chapter 15 and verse 24, one more time: “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”

Whatever you’ve done, if you are outside of the kingdom of God, He will receive you. And if you belong to Him and you fall into sin, if you’re backsliding, come back to Him. And He will receive you. He will run to you to receive you. He loves you with an everlasting love that you cannot possibly imagine or fathom, but come to Him before it’s too late.

Don’t die and arrive at the Judgement Seat with nothing to await you, and don’t die in your sins if you’re not saved and end up a hellfire, like quite possibly his eldest son did. Repent, turn to the Father and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next up, Luke chapter 16.

CHAPTER 16

Chapter 16, verses 1-13: “And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

The first 13 verses of Luke 16 are primarily in reference to one’s responsibility to the Lord God of the Bible.

We have all been called to be ambassadors to Him. Some have been given greater responsibility than others, but we’ve all expected to be faithful to that which is given us.

And verse 13 pretty much sums up all of these verses: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Money per se is not sinful, but the love of money is. And when you love money more than anything else, your love for the Lord will diminish; it will recede. And if you’re not careful, you will become bankrupt, backslidden and out of the will of God.

You won’t lose your salvation, of course, but you will lose your relationship, your fellowship, your walk with the Lord.

Verse 14:

Chapter 16, verse 14: “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.”

The Pharisees were very wealthy, and they despised this travelling Rabbi who had nothing. For them, poverty was a great shame. For them, poverty was a picture of the judgement of the Lord, but how wrong they were.

Verse 15:

Chapter 16, verse 15: “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

Just imagine saying this to a cardinal or a pope or a priest or a bishop in the Catholic Church today. Just imagine saying this to an archbishop of Canterbury or an apostle in the Pentecostal church or to a superintendent in the Methodist church. “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

When the world speak very well of you, something is very wrong. When unsaved men and women speak well of so-called Christian leaders, something is very wrong. And He says in verse 15 how God knows your hearts. Every word, thought and deed is known by the Lord, and one day He is going to examine in minute detail every word, thought and deed you ever said, thought and done.

Verse 16:

Chapter 16, verse 16: “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

The law and the prophets ceased with the arrival and death of John the Baptist. “Since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” Every man that believed, every man that received the call to repentance from John, and every man that believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God, as I said the last time, is physical and spiritual. And here, the Lord is speaking about a spiritual kingdom.

Verse 17:

Chapter 16, verse 17: “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

He came to fulfil the law, not to abolish the law. His word is still in place to this present day: Heaven and earth will pass away [it hasn’t happened yet], but my word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).

In eternity, the Old Testament and the New Testament will be available for everyone to read and see and still enjoy. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

His word is eternal, like Himself. Jesus Christ is eternal, as is the written word of God, which makes it very clear that the Lord God of the Bible not only inspired the Old and the New Testaments, but He also preserved the Old and the New Testaments and, therefore, we have the preserved word of God in the King James Bible in our hands today.

We don’t need only priests or pastors or vicars or deacons or superintendents. We have the written word of God. He inspired it; He has preserved it! And those of us which are Bible-believing Christians have it to this present day.

Verse 18:

Chapter 16, verse 18: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

This is very much in reference to verse 14: how the Pharisees were covetous, the Pharisees lusted, the Pharisees were very guilty of having more than one wife.

And today, we have many people that have married and divorced many times, and divorce in the eyes of the Lord is a great sin: whoever puts his wife away, meaning divorce unless fornication has occurred, and goes on to marry someone else is guilty of adultery.

Divorce and remarriage is permitted, but only when a party has committed fornication, meaning a party has been unfaithful. If person A marries person B, and person A has an affair or goes off with person C, person B is the wronged party. And person B is entitled to file for divorce, but saying that, I will say this: if person A and person B can reconcile, if they can save their marriage, that’s better than to divorce, because not only is it sinful to go on and marry someone else, but the chances are, if you have children, they will suffer terribly as a result of a divorce, as a result of unfaithfulness in a marriage between person A and person B.

And I’ll say this, if I may, before we move on: if you came to the Lord as a divorcee, the Scripture here from 1 Corinthians chapter 7 is very much for you. Verse 24: “Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” Come as you are. He has received you as you are.

So, if you came to the Lord as a divorcee, and you went on to marry someone else, stay as you are. Your salvation has been dealt with on the cross. All of your past, present and future sins have been washed away by the precious blood of Christ.

“Brethren [one more time], let every man [and woman], wherein he [or she] is called, therein abide with God.

You’re no longer under the judgement of God. All of your sins, as I say, have been washed away and forgiven via the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. But if you got saved and then fell into the sin of fornication or adultery, repent. Turn from it. Come back to the Lord, and He might be able to save your marriage.

But if you came to the Lord as a divorcee who has remarried, stay as you are. Your salvation, one more time, is not affected.

But if you are saved and you have fallen into the sin of infidelity, repent. Turn from it and run back to the Lord God of the Bible. Seek His forgiveness, and seek your wife’s or your husband’s forgiveness as well. If reconciliation can be sought, wonderful! If not, leave it to the Lord! Wait on the Lord, and remain single until He deals with this grievous sin.

Verse 19:

Chapter 16, verses 19-21: “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”

This is quite possibly the most famous of all of the Lord’s parables and the most harrowing. And yet, saying that, please allow me to say this: I don’t believe this is a parable. I believe this is a literal account of a dead man who went to Hell when he died. Not the second death, but the first death.

Verse 22:

Chapter 16, verses 22-23: “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”

This poor beggar is carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. He gets an angelic escort, but the rich man dies and there’s no mention of any angels carrying him anywhere. He’s simply thrown into Hell. He’s tossed into the pit called Gehenna.

The Pharisees would have been stunned to have heard such an analogy. For them, wealth meant respect and poverty meant shame.

But this poor man was saved. The rich man was not saved, and so for them, this must have stunned them. But go back to verse 19: this rich man “was clothed in purple and fine linen.” He was of a well-to-do individual. He could have been royalty, and he also could have been a priest or a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. But this beggar sat outside of his home, waiting for the crumbs to fall off his table. These two could quite possibly have even known one another, but they both died at the same time and they both went into the ground, known as Abraham’s bosom or known as Hades, the first death, not the second death. And in verse 23, the rich man is in Hell, and he lifts “up his eyes being in torments [plural] and seeth Abraham afar off.” He could see Abraham, and he’s in great pain.

Verse 24:

Chapter 16, verse 24: “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”

He’s still giving orders! Send Lazarus the beggar to come to me! Because I am in great pain, picturing of course judgement, picturing of course hellfire. Please, father Abraham, have mercy on me. Send Lazarus!

He’s now speaking to Abraham. He saw him in verse 23, and in verse 24 he’s speaking to Abraham.

This makes it crystal clear that for the first death, people in the ground could see and speak to one another. This is pre the crucifixion and this is pre the new covenant.

In the Old Testament, Hell is also known as the pit, Sheol, the ground beneath your feet, the lower parts of the earth. And here, in the New Testament, the first death is called Abraham’s bosom.

Before the new covenant, everyone went into the ground. Post the new covenant, all of the saved people go straight to be with the Lord, but pre the new covenant, everybody went into the ground, saved and unsaved! Abraham here pictures a saved party. The rich man here pictures an unsaved party.

Verse 25:

Chapter 16, verse 25: “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.”

You’ve had it all! You’ve lived the good life. You’ve had money, you’ve had wealth, you’ve had prosperity, but Lazarus has had nothing.

In verse 14, the Pharisees were covetous. In verse 19, they’re in the bondage of divorce and remarriage. In verse 25, you’ve had good things and Lazarus has had evil things. The Pharisees must have been incredulous to have heard such a powerful analogy and not a parable, but a literal account of Abraham’s bosom, a literal account of where the saved and the unsaved dead went when they died.

In verse 25, He says Lazarus is comforted but the rich man is tormented physically and also spiritually.

Verse 26:

Chapter 16, verse 26: “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”

There’s no Purgatory. You can’t pray your way out of the first death. You can’t pray your way out of Abraham’s bosom. You can’t come to us, and we cannot come to you. If you died saved, you will always be saved. But if you died lost, you will always be lost. There’s no second chances when you die.

Verse 27:

Chapter 16, verses 27-28: “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”

He’s begging him to do something. He’s entreating him to do a miracle, but it’s simply too late. Too little, too late.

Verse 29:

Chapter 16, verse 29: “Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”

You have the Old Testament. If you want to be saved, go to the Old Testament and the Lord will save you. He will reveal more of Himself to you. The Old Testament could save you. The New Testament can save you. The word of God can save you, but you’ve got to turn back to the Bible. And this almost pictures the just living by faith, found in Habakkuk [2:4] in the Old Testament, and reaffirmed by the apostle Paul in the Book of Romans [1:17], how “the just shall live by faith.”

Verse 30:

Chapter 16, verses 30-31: “And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

There’s no hope for this rich man in Hell. There’s no hope for his five brethren!

Please, father Abraham, send Lazarus to my family, so they won’t come to this place of torment. And he says one time, from verse 31: “If they [the Jews] hear not Moses and the prophets.” The Jews in the Lord’s day did not even believe, for the most part, the writings of Moses. So, this piece of Scripture is really aimed at the Pharisees and all the unbelieving Israelites. If they [the people of Israel] hear not Moses [the written word of God] and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” picturing, of course, the Lord’s soon resurrection.

He went into the ground, and He came up out of the ground after three days. And the Jews, for the most part, did not believe on Him. So, what more could He do for the people of Israel? They would not believe their Old Testament writings. They will not believe the New Testament writings either. And this pictures the unclean spirit infesting, indwelling the house of Israel.

The Jesus Christ has drawn all of the Jews and Gentiles unto Himself. The Lord Jesus Christ has died for the sins of the world, but if man won’t be reconciled to Him, what more can He do for man.

And so, this sobering and harrowing account in Luke chapter 16 verses 19 down to 31 should be a wake-up call to all Bible-believing Christians to get out on the streets and try and win souls for the Lord, because once a person dies who’s not saved, there’s no other chance for them. There’s no second chance for them. There is no possible way for them to be reconciled unto God.

“If they hear not Moses and the prophets [Old Testament], neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead [New Testament].

So, before I conclude Luke chapter 16 verses 19 down to 31, please turn to Ezekiel 26 and take a look at verse 20: “When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD” in reference to Satan falling.

Cross-reference this back to Isaiah chapter 14. This pit, of course, is the grave, Sheol, Hades, Abraham’s bosom, Hell. Unsaved people that die today go into the pit, the ground, Gehenna, Sheol, the grave, Abraham’s bosom, Hades, Hell and they wait there until the Great White Throne Judgement. But saved people go straight to be with the Lord.

Please jump over to Ezekiel 32. Look at verse 21: “The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.” Speaking in Hell is found so very clearly here.

Luke 16 was clear. Ezekiel 32 is also clear. Unsaved people go into the ground, and they can see one another. They can speak to one another, but the second death after the Great White Throne Judgement, they become blind, like worms. And they are cast alive into the lake of fire which burneth forever.

So, one final recap in reference to Luke chapter 16. Pre the cross, everyone died and went into the ground, the saved and the unsaved. Post the resurrection, all those that have believed on the Lord go straight to be with Him when they die. But all those that have not believed on Him, go into the ground and they wait in torment, in suffering, in pain, for the Great White Throne Judgement.

Next up, Luke chapter 17.

CHAPTER 17

Chapter 17, verse 1: “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!”

John the Baptist stumbled. Timothy stumbled. All Bible-believing Christians have the potential to stumble, to be offended, to be embarrassed by their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, if you have fallen, if you have stumbled, if you have been offended or embarrassed by the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, confess your sins to the Lord – 1 John chapter 1 – and He will run to you and He will forgive you. He will kiss you, He will fall on your neck and put a robe on you, put shoes on you, give you a ring if necessary.

He loves you far more than you could ever know, but if you deny Him and continue to deny Him, He will deny you before His Father in Heaven. Not necessarily in reference to your salvation, but more likely in reference to your place and service in His kingdom, the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“It is impossible but that offences will come.” There’s no way around it! The Lord Jesus Christ understood this very well. Even His apostles were offended and departed from Him. “But woe unto him, through whom they come.”

Now the burden switches onto the guilty party. “Woe unto him, through whom they come.”

If you cause a Bible-believing Christian to stumble, to be embarrassed, to be offended, the Lord’s judgement and anger abides upon you.

Verse 2:

Chapter 17, verse 2: “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

Now the Lord Jesus Christ really steps up the pressure: It’s better for you to have been drowned as a result of causing one of those that believe in Me to stumble.

This piece of Scripture is so powerful. One more time: “It were better for him [or her] that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea [meek and mild Jesus? I don’t think so] than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

We are little children in the eyes of the Lord and He is our everlasting Father. You’re better off being drowned, you’re better off being damned as a result of causing one of those that believe in me to stumble, to be embarrassed, to be offended. And it’s quite possible He had His cousin in mind when He said these words.

Maybe someone got to John. Maybe someone whispered in His cousin’s ear and caused him to stumble and, therefore, judgement awaits such a party.

John wasn’t infallible, Timothy wasn’t infallible. Peter wasn’t infallible, and the apostle Paul was not infallible. They all fell on many occasions. I’ve fallen on many occasions. You too have fallen on many occasions. But get up! Repent and confess your sins to the Lord God of the Bible! And He will cleanse you, He will forgive you, He will embrace you. He will run to you and wash you clean of all your iniquities and failures.

Verse 3:

Chapter 17, verse 3: “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”

This could be your physical brother. This could be your spiritual brother or sister in the Lord. If he or she trespasses against you, rebuke him. Go to him or her, and correct that party. If they repent, forgive them. If they are truly sorry, forgive them.

We have sinned against God in a far greater way than a brother or sister could ever do against us, and He has forgiven us. He ran to us. He has reconciled us unto Himself. So, how much more should we be expected to forgive our brother or sister in the Lord when they fall, when they stumble, when they cause us to fall or be hurt or to be offended or to be embarrassed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

And I’ll say this also: that forgiveness is very difficult. When someone who you love very much has wronged you, it goes very deep within you. Sometimes it takes years to forgive a third party that has wronged you.

But you are the greater person. You are the stronger person, if you are able to forgive that party, even if they have not asked you to do so. Forgive them for yourself, and forgive them for Christ’s sake. Because if you don’t, it will eat you within.

And the last thing you ever want to become is a bitter, backslidden, indifferent, apathetic Christian.

Verse 4:

Chapter 17, verse 4: “And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

Forgive him, forgive her as quickly as you possibly can. Do so for yourself, do so for the Lord, and do so also for them.

But I grant you: it takes time to truly forgive someone who has wronged you deep down in your soul, but do so! Otherwise you will lose some of your fellowship and joy in the Lord.

In fact, please turn to Matthew chapter 6. Look at verse 14: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” part of the “Lord’s Prayer” (or as it should be known, the “Disciples’ Prayer”).

And here very interestingly, to be forgiven by the Lord is conditional on you forgiving someone else, but for the New Covenant post-the Lord’s prayer, post-the Gospels, post-the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve already been forgiven regardless of forgiving any other party. Our salvation was simply dependent on believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.

But, of course, the Disciples’ Prayer was given to the Jews under the law, pre-the New Covenant. And no doubt, during the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, it will have an even greater fulfilment.

Please go back to Luke chapter 17. So, verses 3 and 4 are really in reference, as far as we are concerned for today: a) in reference to our fellowship with our brother or sister in the Lord and b) in reference to our fellowship with the Lord God of the Bible, no more than that.

And failure to forgive a brother or sister in the Lord according to 1 John chapter 1 – not Matthew chapter 6 but 1 John – results in you losing fellowship with the Lord, compared to Matthew chapter 6, losing rewards or even resulting in the Lord withholding forgiveness for you from your sins.

Verse 5:

Chapter 17, verse 5: “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

They’re still children. They’re still growing. They’re still being nurtured by their everlasting Father. “Increase our faith.” How do you do that? Read the word of God each and every day and obey it. Share your faith with other people. Birds of a feather, flock together. Work with other Bible-believing Christians, if necessary. But build yourself up in the written word of God. Have a good prayer life as well, and if you’re unable to go onto the streets to preach, to witness, to pass out tracts, support those ministries that do and you will experience some of the many blessings that these frontline ministries enjoy.

Your faith will be increased because you will see the power of the Holy Spirit in such people, blessing their work and blessing you as well.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” No infallibility here!” “Lord, Increase our faith.” Simply humility and a desire to get closer to the Lord God of the Bible! Humble yourself as little children and He will raise you up. He will exalt you. He is our everlasting Father.

Verse 6:

Chapter 17, verses 6-10: “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

A true humble Bible-believing Christian doesn’t expect praise every time he or she does something for the Lord. You do it because you love Him, and you do it because you want to serve him.

And also from verse 6, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”

To have your prayers answered, there are two conditions that need to be met: 1) walk in the Spirit and 2) make sure it is the Lord’s will. And also, He may grant you your prayer request, but it may not happen straight away.

The Lord, for the most part, is never in any hurry to do anything with His children. So, walk in the Spirit, pray through the Holy Spirit for the Lord to hear your prayer and grant it to you, and then be patient and wait on Him.

Verse 11:

Chapter 17, verses 11-19: “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Faith to be saved? Quite possibly! Faith to be healed, more likely. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

Ten lepers are healed, and yet just one gives Him thanks. Just one fell down at His feet to give Him thanks. The other nine demonstrated ingratitude, but one came back to give Him thanks and he glorified God with a loud voice, a picture of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

And verse 19 one more time: “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:1) He told someone else. But on this occasion: your faith has saved you; your faith in Me has healed you of your leprosy, and your faith in Me has healed you of your sin. “The just shall live by faith.”

And verse 14, in case you missed it: “Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” Jews, half Jews in Samaria or Galilee, more likely to be Jews in Galilee, but quite possibly half Gentiles or half Jews in Samaria. “Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” If these are Jews, it’s one more indirect rebuke against unbelieving Israel. Go show yourselves unto the priests, and give God the glory.

Verse 20:

Chapter 17, verses 20-21: “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Not the Pharisees, of course. The kingdom of God is in you, if you’ve been born again. The Pharisees were outside of the kingdom of God. They wanted Jesus Christ to leave the cross and go straight to Jerusalem as a Son of David, and to initiate the thousand-year reign.

It will come at the Second Coming, but for here and now, He’s coming to die for the sins of the world. The kingdom of God is within you if you have been born again. No more than that!

Verse 22:

Chapter 17, verses 22-25: “And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.”

Pre-70 A.D. there are many false messiahs in Israel, going around claiming to be the Messiah. And many people fell for those imposters. Pre-the Second Coming, many more imposters are going to be raised up. And many people are going to fall for them as well.

He says don’t go here, don’t go there, nor follow them. “For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.”

Lightning is visual; thunder is audible.

But before these things come to pass, before the kingdom of God can be revealed to the world, in verse 25 the Son of man must “suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation”. The people of Israel living there and then!

So at the First Coming, the Son of Joseph comes to suffer and die for the sins of the world. At the Second Coming, the Son of David comes back to rule and reign from Jerusalem for one thousand years.

Please turn to Revelation chapter 1, Look at verse 7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

Every eye will see Him at the second coming of Christ. Not the rapture – 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 – which is just for the Church, but here the Second Coming is for the entire world. And those that pierced Him are going to see it, and all the kindreds of the earth are going to wail because of Him, because He’s angry. He’s coming back to punish the earth, not to save the earth (First Coming). He’s coming come back to judge and destroy the earth at the Second Coming of Christ. And no one living during the Great Tribulation will be able to miss it.

Please go back to Luke chapter 17, verse 26:

Chapter 17, verses 26-29: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”

A couple of points to flag up from these verses: 1) It’s going to be business as usual: apathy and everyday life. Sin is going to be endemic. People are going to be married and getting married and partying and enjoying everyday life, right up until the judgement falls.

He cites Lot, and He also cites Noah. Two individuals that lived way back in the days of the Old Testament. Noah’s generation drowned. Lot’s generation were burnt with fire, and both generations continued to live and function regardless of the preaching all around them. They were totally indifferent until it was too late, and the floods came and the fire came and destroyed them all. And the same type of judgement is going to happen again when the Son of Man returns to planet Earth.

Verse 30:

Chapter 17, verse 30: “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

Second Coming, not the rapture.

You thought it was bad what happened back in the days of Noah and Lot. It’s going to be so much worse in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. He said in verse 22, “The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it” in reference to the disciples, of course, and vicariously those of us that are saved and are waiting His return.

But for His enemies, He’s their worst nightmare. He’s the last person they want to see.

In Revelations chapter 6, they will be hiding in the caves and underground. Men will seek suicide, and suicide will flee from them.

We love His return, and we pray for His return but the world hate Him, the world despise Him, and the world are going to be aghast at His return.

Verse 31:

Chapter 17, verse 31: “In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.”

You’re not going to miss it, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. You are not going to miss the Second Coming of Christ.

Verse 32:

Chapter 17, verse 32: “Remember Lot’s wife.”

A picture of a false convert. She looked back, and she was turned to a pillar of salt. The Lord’s judgement was imminent and direct in reference to her not truly believing, but turning back, picturing the fact that her heart was still in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Verse 33:

Chapter 17, verse 33: “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”

It’s a paradox, of course. If you try to save your life, you will lose it. And if you lose your life, you will have it preserved. He’s already given you everlasting life. He told you He would never leave you nor forsake you, so be at peace. Rest in Him.

Verse 34:

Chapter 17, verses 34-37: “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.”

Two men in a bed. This is not a picture of homosexuality! It was quite common in Biblical times for an entire family to share a bed, so the meaning of these verses is quite simple. One will be taken up to Jerusalem to go into the Millennial Reign, and the other shall be left behind to be destroyed.

Matthew chapter 24 is the parallel passage to this piece of scripture: two women shall be grinding together; one shall be taken up to Jerusalem to, again, go into the thousand-year reign of Christ, and the other shall be left to be destroyed. And two men in the field: one is taken to go up to Jerusalem to be with the Lord forever, and the other is left behind to be destroyed.

And verse 37 should be read in conjunction with verse 24. The lightning is visual; thunder is audible. So, for those that are awaiting His return, they will see the lightning in the sky, but for those that are not awaiting His return, it will be like a thief in the night: thunder and lightning. Judgement, of course!

Next up, Luke chapter 18.

CHAPTER 18

Chapter 18, verses 1-6: “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.”

This parable is very simple. This judge pictures an unsaved individual who grants this lady her request. If he could do it for her, how much more will the Lord do it for us, His children, His people.

Verse 7:

Chapter 18, verse 7: “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”

This very much goes back to chapter 17, picturing the Jews in the Great Tribulation, the 144,000 to be precise. These people have been chosen for service, not salvation. And they cry unto Him day and night, as do most Bible-believing Christians around the world to this present day.

He’s going to avenge you in His own time. And some people say: Where is the Lord? Why do I go through A, B and C? Does He really care for me?

Look at verse 8:

Chapter 18, verse 8: “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

It’s almost a rhetorical question. Will He find faith on the earth? The answer, of course, is very little. But He’s going to avenge His enemies speedily. All those that cause His children to be offended, to stumble, to suffer pain in any situation.

So, extract from verses 1 down to 7 the need to pray, pray, pray, and pray until you pray because He sees what you see, and He hears what you hear. And He loves you so very much. And one day, He will avenge all those that have caused His children to stumble, to suffer. And it will happen straight away, speedily, in a flash, like lightning.

Verse 9:

Chapter 18, verses 9-14: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Like Nebuchadnezzar! He humbled himself, and he was exalted. I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess. Sounds like the Muslims, who pray five times a day and fast throughout their period called Ramadan!

Two men went up to the temple: one was a Pharisee and the other was a publican. The Pharisee, as always, is pictured as a self-righteous individual who thanks the Lord that he’s not as other men are: extortioners, unjust, adulterers or even as this publican.

But the publican says, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Those seven words from a humble individual resulted in him being justified, being exonerated, being pardoned of his sins. And he went home justified, meaning he was forgiven. And this is the first time we come across the word “justification” or “justified” in the Gospel of Luke, used many times in the Epistle to the Romans.

But back to verse 8: “Shall he find faith on the earth?” No! Which demonstrates to me very clearly that there will never be another revival between now and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But go back to verse 13, please: “And the publican, standing afar off.” He wouldn’t even come near to the Lord. He was so convicted of his sin. He wouldn’t even “lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven.” He was filled with sin, “but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”

What a great picture of humility and repentance and remorse!

But the Pharisee, as a priest, should have known much better. The Pharisee as a priest, as an educated scholar perhaps, should have known how sinful he was and how holy God is. But this publican, this tax collector, understood it perfectly well. “God be merciful to me a sinner.” And those seven words saved him from his sin.

And just in case you missed it: there were no good works involved. “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). He believed, he called out to the Lord, he turned to the Lord and the Lord turned to him. No works involved whatsoever! “The just shall live by faith.”

Verse 15:

Chapter 18, verse 15: “And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.”

This piece of Scripture seems to suggest that the disciples thought the arrival of these infants come to be blessed by Him was beneath Him. They’re still growing in grace, and many times they messed up. But the Lord Jesus Christ understood it very well and, therefore, He used situations such as this to build them up, to demonstrate His love for them and those around Him.

Verse 16:

Chapter 18, verse 16: “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Heaven, of course, is for children. All those that have died in infancy or been aborted are in Heaven today. Suffer these little children to come unto me. Allow these little children to come unto me.

Don’t stop them. “For of such is the kingdom of God.” Are children sinless? No, but by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, He has made a way for all children to go to Heaven upon death. But once they’ve past the age of accountability, they too need a Saviour.

Verse 17:

Chapter 18, verse 17: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

You must humble yourself to be saved. Until you do so, you will never see your sin. And until you see your sin, you will never see your need of a Saviour to save you from your sin.

Verse 18:

Chapter 18, verse 18: “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

There’s two problems from verse 18. First of all, you don’t inherit everlasting life. To inherit something means it’s yours by divine right, and salvation is not yours by divine right. Salvation is grace. It’s all about God. Secondly, this term “Good Master” implied that the man thought he was good as well.

Verse 19:

Chapter 18, verse 19: “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.”

God, and God alone, is a personification of goodness, of purity, of sinlessness. But now, the Lord is going get down to business!

Verse 20:

Chapter 18, verses 20-21: “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.”

Really? “There’s not a just man on the face of the earth” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

This individual was self-righteous, like the Pharisees were. And it’s very interesting from verse 20 how the Lord starts with adultery, then killing, then stealing, then bearing false witness, which of course is lying, then honouring your father and your mother.

No mention here of the Sabbath! Just the main sins that this man no doubt had committed in the past. To lust is adultery. To hate is to kill. Stealing and bearing false witness dishonour your mother and your father. And he says in verse 21, one more time, “All these have I kept from my youth up.”

Impossible! Only Jesus Christ was able to keep the law and fulfil it to the spirit and to the letter.

Verse 22:

Chapter 18, verse 22: “Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”

Once again, these verses don’t teach works! You could do these things and still go to Hell. He’s trying to get to the heart of the issue. And for this man, it was his money. It was his wealth. It was his love of money and of wealth that was stopping him from coming to the Saviour to be forgiven and saved.

Verse 23:

Chapter 18, verse 23: “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.”

To have money and to be rich is not a sin, but to love your money, to love your wealth is sinful, and it results in you falling, stumbling and being unable to understand the simplicity of Christ. “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10), without exception!

Verse 24:

Chapter 18, verse 24: “And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

Mark chapter 10 is the cross-reference to this piece of Scripture. And in Mark 10, the phrase, “for them that trust in riches” (verse 24) explains why it’s so difficult for wealthy people to forsake everything and “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).

They love their money more than they love Him. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). But money per se is not the problem; it’s the love of money which is the problem.

And this rich man’s problem of committing adultery, killing, stealing, bearing false witness, dishonouring his parents almost mirrors the self-righteous Pharisee in verse 11.

“I’m not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” And you know what? He’s even worse than a publican, a tax collector. Because he is self-righteous and, in essence, he’s trying to tell the Lord how good is. He’s trying to put himself on par with the Lord. That’s high treason, my friends.

Verse 25:

Chapter 18, verses 25-27: “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

In reference to salvation! You cannot save yourself. It’s all about God! It’s impossible for man to save himself, but it’s possible for God to save man when he turns to the Lord Jesus Christ and believes on Him and receives Him as his Saviour and atonement for his sins.

Verse 28:

Chapter 18, verses 28-30: “Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

Peter says in verse 28 how they have left everything to follow Him, and they had done. The disciples were lower-middle-class, self-employed fishermen. They were wealthy and well-to-do gentlemen. They forsook everything to follow Him, as did Levi, later called Matthew the apostle, and Jesus accepts this in verse 29.

And He goes on to say in verse 30 how those that have forsaken everything to follow Him are not only going to receive manifold more in this present time, like spiritual brethren, but in the world to come, everlasting life.

So, yes, the call to follow Him is severe. And it will cost you something to do so, but at the same time, you are going to receive spiritual brethren and life everlasting.

So, push on with the Lord Jesus Christ. Forsake what you have and follow Him. Don’t love your money or even your life. What you lose, He will recompense you at the resurrection, but between here and now, He will give you all that you need. Just trust Him, come to Him, and allow Him to fulfil His promise to never leave you nor forsake you. And neither to leave you desolate either.

Verse 31:

Chapter 18, verse 31: “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.”

On so many occasions, the Lord Jesus Christ would quote the Old Testament, the Jewish Tanakh. His arrival to earth is littered in the Old Testament: 68 prophecies of His birth, death and resurrection. But you have to dig deep in order to find the real gems in the Old Testament!

Verse 32:

Chapter 18, verse 32-34: “For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

Bit by bit, He reveals more to His disciples. Too much too soon would cause them to overload. So, bit by bit, and He builds them up. He prepares them for His soon crucifixion.

Verse 35:

Chapter 18, verses 35-39: “And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.   And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Even though this term “Son of David” is really in reference to the Second Coming of Christ, this man, this blind individual sitting by the side begging, no doubt humiliated and mocked by the passing travellers had greater discernment than all of the Pharisees and scribes and lawyers combined.

Verse 40:

Chapter 18, verse 40-42: “And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.”

Once again, faith alone for salvation and faith alone for healing.

Verse 43:

Chapter 18, verse 43: “And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.”

Praise His name in the highest! This miracle strengthened the faith of the disciples, and this miracle resulted in the people praising God.

So, chapter 18 commenced with the call to prayer, and chapter 18 concluded with a man calling out to be healed, praying to be healed, and he was healed. He was set free. The power of prayer is magnificent, but like I said, it doesn’t come overnight. Pray, pray, pray, and pray until you pray.

Next up, Luke chapter 19.

CHAPTER 19

Chapter 19, verses 1-2: “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.”

This parable is going to mirror chapter 15 concerning the prodigal son. The prodigal son fell from grace, and the father ran to be reconciled to his son. Zacchaeus is going be reconciled to the Saviour of the world.

Verse 3:

Chapter 19, verse 3: “And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.”

Zacchaeus was wealthy, but Zacchaeus was a little man, and he was desperate to see the Lord.

Verse 4:

Chapter 19, verse 4: “And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.”

He’s now run to see the Lord, and he’s now climbed up into a sycamore tree to see the travelling Rabbi, the Man from Galilee. This truly pictures repentance. This man has run to see the Saviour, and he’s climbed up into a tree to see Him.

He was humble, and you can just imagine the ridicule he might have experienced climbing up into a tree to see the Saviour of the world. He was known all over his neighbourhood, no doubt, but he didn’t care. He had to see the Man from Galilee.

Verse 5:

Chapter 19, verse 5: “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.”

This is the first time in Scripture where the Lord Jesus Christ invited Himself into the house of a repentant sinner. “Make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.” Zacchaeus must have been overloaded with emotion, and no doubt he must have heard of the fame of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He’s run to see Him. He’s climbed up into a tree to get sight of Him. Once again, this pictures true remorse, true repentance, true belief in the Son of God.

Verse 6:

Chapter 19, verse 6: “And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.”

Picturing, one more time, true repentance and forgiveness of sins. You would make haste, you would come down and you would receive Him joyfully if you wanted to be born again. You would run to the Saviour, and He would run to you –Luke chapter 15–.

Look at verse 7:

Chapter 19, verse 7: “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”

A tax collector in the 1st century was the equivalence of being a paedophile. They murmured, they criticised, they complained that the Lord God of the universe had got into the home of a sinner. But “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And as a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Proverbs 23:7). Just think it, and the Lord says you are just as guilty as doing it.

Verse 8:

Chapter 19, verses 8-9: “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”

Whatever I’ve done wrong, Lord, I will restore it fourfold.

This man was very wealthy. This man had made a living off the backs of ordinary working-class people. In fact, he’d probably even used extortion to extract more money from these people.

The word of God tells us that “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1), and you are told to submit to the powers that be. But when the powers to be overstep the mark, the Lord God is going to judge them and hold them accountable.

But verse 9: “This day [today, right now] is salvation [forgiveness, reconciliation, cleansing] come to this house [the house of Zacchaeus], forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”

He was a Jew, but he wasn’t saved until this point in time. In fact, I’ll say this: verses 3 and 4 demonstrate justification in the sight of God, but verses 8 and 9 demonstrate justification in the sight of man. Saved by his faith, verses 3 and 4, but justified by his works, verses 8 and 9.

Verse 10:

Chapter 19, verse 10: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Until you are born again, you are lost and on your way to Hell. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jew and Gentile, it makes no difference. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

And once again, just in case you missed it, there are no works in reference to the salvation of the Zacchaeus: “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

Verse 11:

Chapter 19, verse 11: “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.”

And that was the reason why the Jews, for the most part, did not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. They wanted Him to come back, throw out the Romans and initiate the thousand-year reign. But He had to die for the sins of the world first of all, in order to come back to rule and reign as the Son of David.

By Acts chapter 7, He was ready to come back and do just that, but the Jews once again rejected Him, foretold in the Old Testament hundreds, if not thousands, of years before His arrival.

The word of God, one more time, is above all other so-called holy books. The Qur’an comes nowhere near the Old Testament.

And the subtle switch to a parable reflects the unrepentant heart of the people of Israel. He knew they were going to reject Him, and yet He preached to them nevertheless. He went to them nevertheless. He went into their homes nevertheless, even though He knew they were going to reject Him and call for His death and even spit on Him, He still went into their homes nevertheless to preach to them. Why? “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jew or Gentile, it makes no difference. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And without Christ, you are totally lost. Without Christ, you go to Hell when you die, not Heaven.

Verse 12:

Chapter 19, verses 12-14: “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.”

This parable, of course, is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ coming back to reward His servants in reference to the Millennial Kingdom, not their salvation. But some of these people made it very clear in verse 14 how they would not have this man to reign over them picturing, of course, unbelieving Israel.

Verse 15:

Chapter 19, verses 15-17: “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”

You can’t miss it. This very much pictures ruling and reigning with Him in the Millennial Kingdom. 1 Corinthians chapter 6 makes it very clear how we are going to have angels in subjection to us, during the thousand-year reign of Christ.

Verse 18:

Chapter 19, verses 18-19: “And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.”

In verse 16, one pound resulted in gaining ten pounds, which meant this individual had ten cities to rule and reign over. In verse 18, one pound resulted in gaining five pounds, which meant this individual had five cities to rule over.

And you can’t miss it: faithfulness is the key to receiving greater rewards in the Kingdom of God, but from the blessings come the curses.

Take a look at verse 20:

Chapter 19, verses 20-23: “And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?”

This man’s words are now used against him, to incriminate him. He sees and hears everything, and this wicked servant pictures an unsaved individual who feared his master and hid his pound in a napkin.

And the next few verses picture his downfall. This individual was never saved to begin with, and the Lord Jesus Christ has taken his words and used them against him. And in case you missed it, this demonstrates the omniscience of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Matthew chapter 12, verse 36, He made it so very clear: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

Be careful what you say and what you do. He sees and hears everything, and one day He’s going to judge you right down to the slightest word that you said or did or thought in your lifetime!

Verse 24:

Chapter 19, verses 24-26: “And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.”

Picturing a total loss of your millennial inheritance! Salvation is not in the equation here, but your rewards and place in the Kingdom of God at the end of the Great Tribulation is very much in reference here.

Verse 27:

Chapter 19, verse 27: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

You get the governments that you deserve. Verse 14: “We will not have this man to reign over us.” We have one king, who is Caesar (John 19:15), and Caesar came and destroyed them. He cut them down. He obliterated them.

So, once again, this ludicrous expression “meek and mild Jesus” is almost laughable. Bring my enemies unto me, and I will slay them.

Please turn to Psalm 110. Look at verse 1: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” God the Father is speaking to God the Son.

Look at verse 5: “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.” You can’t miss it! The Lord Jesus Christ is going to obliterate His enemies at the Second Coming of Christ.

Please turn back to Luke chapter 19, verse 28:

Chapter 19, verse 28: “And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.”

The capital of the world! The eternal city!

Verse 29:

Chapter 19, verses 29-31: “And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.”

The Lord made it very clear that those that were not against Him were for Him.

The apostles, for the most part, failed time after time to truly grasp the enormity of the Man called Jesus Christ.

In John chapter 10, the Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear how He had other sheep that were not yet in His fold, in reference to the Gentiles, of course.

So, these verses make it very clear how the Lord Jesus Christ had pockets of disciples all over Israel that were not known among the disciples or the apostles. They were saved, but they were not known among the disciples, the apostles or the seventy, for that matter. So, Luke chapter 9 verse 50 sums this up so very well: “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

Verse 32:

Chapter 19, verses 32-34: “And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him.”

Kurios in Greek, Adonai in Hebrew, the Lord, God, Elohim, Jehovah, the mighty God, the everlasting Father.

Verse 35:

Chapter 19, verses 35-36: “And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.”

The people thought He was going to Jerusalem to take His place as the King of the Jews. But, of course, He was going to Jerusalem to take His place as a suffering Saviour.

And this failure to rightly divide the two dispensations between the First Coming and the Second Coming has caused so many people to stumble. So many Jews to this present day have totally missed who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and they have died in their sins and gone to Hell.

And yet saying that, please allow me to say this: to this present day there are more Bible-believing Jews around the world than at any time since the day of Pentecost.

Verse 37:

Chapter 19, verses 37-38: “And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

To come in the name of the Lord meant you had authority from the Lord to come in His name, and Jesus Christ had all authority in Heaven and in earth to do what He did, and in verse 37, even His disciples are praising and rejoicing in Him, speaking with a loud voice, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

Verse 39:

Chapter 19, verses 39-40: “And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Affirming His deity, from Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 11. The atmosphere must have been electric: “Master, rebuke thy disciples.” Master, your disciples are causing a stir, an outrage and almost a riot.

And He says, no, if I was to silence them, even the stones would immediately cry out. He wanted to be worshipped, and here His disciples are worshipping Him.

But there was still mass confusion. Was He going to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the world, or was He going to Jerusalem to rule and reign for a thousand years? And for the most part, nobody really knew.

Verse 41:

Chapter 19, verses 41-44: “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Verse 14: We won’t have this man to reign over us. We have only one king, which is Caesar. And He says, fine. The days are going to come when your world will be turned upside down, and not one stone will be left upon another (Matthew 24:2). 70 A.D., of course!

And that old expression, one more time: you get the governments that you deserve. They rejected Him, so He gave them Caesar.

Verse 45:

Chapter 19, verses 45-46: “And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

“My house” in reference to being the Lord of the temple. “But ye have made it a den of thieves.” Organised religion, no doubt. And He despised such individuals. He chastised such individuals, and He got a whip and He whipped them and drove them out of the temple.

Verse 47:

Chapter 19, verses 47-48: “And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.”

The common people, for the most, were very attentive to hear Him. The average man and woman on the street wanted to hear His message. But those priests in organised religion hated and despised Him because, as far as they were concerned, He was a threat to them. But he wasn’t!

So, the chapter started with a son of Abraham being forgiven, but the chapter concluded with many sons of Abraham refusing to be forgiven and saved: the scribes, the Pharisees and the academics. The usual crowd, of course!

And in verse 47, the plot to destroy Him continues on. This conspiracy to destroy Him has now stepped up another gear.

Next time, Luke chapter 20.

CHAPTER 20

Chapter 20, verses 1-2: “And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?”

This is a typical question from a group of self-righteous Pharisees. Catholics ask Bible-believing Christians the same question all of the time, “Where do you get your authority from? And we tell them, “The word of God.”

But where do they get their authority from? A redundant, nonsensical, unscriptural priesthood, not found anywhere in the word of God.

Verse 3:

Chapter 20, verses 3-4: “And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?”

This is a great tactic of the Lord. He answers a question with a question.

Verse 5:

Chapter 20, verses 5-6: “And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.”

Now, they’re in a bind. What are they going to do? If we say John came from heaven, He will have won, and if we deny John, the people are going to stone us.

Verse 7:

Chapter 20, verse 7: “And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.”

What cowards they were!

Verse 8:

Chapter 20, verse 8: “And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.”

You won’t answer my questions? I won’t answer your questions either.

Verse 9:

Chapter 20, verse 9: “Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.”

Once again, unbelieving Israel has resulted in the need for parables.

Verse 10:

Chapter 20, verses 10-12: “And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.”

This vineyard points back to the Old Testament. Many prophets were sent to the people of Israel day and night. Many kings and deliverers were raised up for the people of Israel day and night. But time after time, they rejected the kings and the prophets.

Look at verse 13:

Chapter 20, verse 13: “Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.”

Of course, this is Jesus Christ, and the love and faithfulness of the Lord God of the Bible is not lost on those of us which understand the meaning to these parables.

Verse 14:

Chapter 20, verse 14: “But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.”

There’s that conspiracy again. The plotting never ceased. The indifference and hatred simply grew and grew.

Verse 15:

Chapter 20, verse 15: “So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?”

The question is asked, and yet He doesn’t even allow them the time to respond.

Verse 16:

Chapter 20, verse 16: “He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

They perfectly understood the meaning of this parable. “God forbid.” May it never be! But it was too late for them. Judgment was knocking at their door.

Verse 17:

Chapter 20, verse 17: “And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

He, of course, is the stone and the rock. Not Simon Peter, but Jesus Christ alone! He built His Church on Himself, but yes, He rewarded Peter for his profession of faith, but the stone, the rock, is deity. And the deity, of course, is Jesus Christ.

Verse 18:

Chapter 20, verse 18: “Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

Bring My enemies before Me and I will slay them (Luke 19:27).

If you believe on Me, I will save you. If you deny Me, I will condemn you and send you into the lake of fire forever.

So, verses 1 to 8 picture the patience of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was omniscient, He was omnipresent and He was omnipotent, and He knew as always what to expect from people such as these Pharisees and scribes and so-called experts of the Jewish Old Testament.

And yet, persevere He did! He gave them chance after chance to come to Him to be saved, but time after time they rejected Him and went back to the law. John 6:66, an interesting number, of course!

He –Jesus Christ– is the only mediator. He –Jesus Christ– is the only substitutionary atonement. And He –Jesus Christ– is the only Lamb of God. Take Him or leave Him, but never be indifferent towards Him.

Also, from verse 2 and 3, this whole issue of authority was very much a smokescreen. They, of course, knew who He was and why He came to do what He did. But they couldn’t bring themselves to believe on Him, a travelling rabbi, a carpenter, a man with no higher education. For them, it was foolishness to follow Him. But the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those that perish, but to those that believe, it’s the power of salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Verse 19:

Chapter 20, verse 19: “And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.”

This unholy alliance once again! Scribes, Pharisees and other dubious characters coming together to somehow lay hands on Him, to kill Him.

Just go through church history and you find this time after time: church councils, so-called, meeting to decide what to do with enemies of the Church of Rome.

Verse 20:

Chapter 20, verse 20: “And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.”

Now, these so-called holy fathers are working with the governor, an unsaved superstitious Gentile. These Jewish gentlemen were going to betray one of their own to an unsaved superstitious Gentile. How much further could you fall from grace?

And these spies that were sent out in verse 20 could quite possibly refer to the apostle Paul sent via the temple.

But my feeling from verse 20 is how this almost pictures, it almost prophesizes, it almost suggests what we found back in the Dark Ages when the Jesuits were raised up to spy on true Bible-believing Christians, sent by the Vatican, of course.

Solomon said there’s nothing new under the sun. How true that is! They watched Him, and they sent forth spies to feign themselves just men. Agent provocateurs, trying to somehow get closer to Him and perhaps even infiltrate His little flock. How foolish were these people to think that they could somehow overthrow the will of God.

Verse 21:

Chapter 20, verses 21-22: “And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?”

They, of course, knew that the Lord God of the Bible ordains the powers to be, Daniel chapter 2 and Romans chapter 13! So, how He chose to answer was going to be very interesting to them and the listening people.

Verse 23:

Chapter 20, verses 23-25: “But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

What a fabulous answer! Render therefore the things which belong to Caesar (like taxes and everyday life) and render to God the things that which be God’s, like the Old Testament teachings and being good law-abiding citizens.

These individuals claimed to be law-abiding Jews, and at the same time, they claimed to be faithful subjects to Caesar. We have no king but Caesar! And here, the King of the universe, the true King of the universe, has taken their words once again and used them against them.

Verse 26:

Chapter 20, verse 26: “And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.”

Picturing again, how He is going to shut the mouths of every unsaved man and woman at the Great White Throne Judgment. Every mouth will be stopped!

When He’s finished judging people, every mouth will be stopped. There’ll be silence in His presence.

So, take verses 9 down to 26, and we discover once again the great instigator that the Lord Jesus Christ was. They tried to interrogate Him, but He interrogated them instead. They foolishly thought they could score points over Him, concerning Caesar, who was despised among the people. And He took their craftiness and turned it against them.

Every idle word you say will be held against you. Every word, thought and deed will be held against you. What you do in the darkness will be brought into the light.

And verse 25 remains timeless: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” That hasn’t changed in over two thousand years.

Submit to the authority, and submit to the Lord God of the Bible. But if the authority tells you to do something which is not found in Scripture, if they tell you to do something which is denied or rejected or prohibited in Scripture, go with Scripture, of course.

And verse 26, one more time: “And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.” They’re biding their time, the so-called fathers, the reverends, the scholars, the PhDs, marvelled at His answer.

He silenced them time after time, and they held their peace. And of course, you know who’s behind these individuals? Satan, of course! The great instigator, the slanderer and also the accuser.

And the Lord told them very clearly in John chapter 8 how, “Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:44), making it very clear how they were following Satan, the unclean spirit, which goes out of his house seeking to find rest (Luke 11:24). This unclean spirit has indwelt the house of Israel for over two thousand years, and until they turn to Him, they remain in bondage to this unclean spirit.

Verse 27:

Chapter 20, verses 27-36: “Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”

Clearly, marriage between a man and woman is just for today. But those which have obtained everlasting life are going to be like the angels. No procreation in heaven! It’s as simple as that.

And also from verse 35, “they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world,” in reference to the Kingdom of God. Nobody’s worthy on their own merits! But, if you believe, if you receive, if you trust in the Saviour of the world, He will make you worthy to enter heaven when you die.

And also from verse 36, nobody can die anymore. There’s no reincarnation, just resurrection.

Verse 37:

Chapter 20, verses 37-38: “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.”

Out goes Purgatory, out goes praying to saints and statues and so-called saints. “He is not a God of the dead, but of the living.” Period!

And in verse 37, in case you missed it, He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Not Mohammed, not Ishmael, not Buddha! But Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He’s the God of the Jews. And through their fall, we the Gentiles, we the Church, have been grafted in, but the root still remains Jewish. And so they support us. We don’t support them.

Verse 39:

Chapter 20, verse 39: “Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.”

The scribes believed in a resurrection of the just and the unjust, but the Pharisees did not believe in such a resurrection. So, on this occasion, they were happy that He silenced the Pharisees.

Verse 40:

Chapter 20, verse 40: “And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.”

He silenced them time after time. They met their match in the man known as Christ Jesus. Among their peers, they must have been considered something else. They probably spoke many languages, and they probably owned most of Jerusalem. But this travelling Rabbi took their words and used them against them, and He did so simply to honour His Father in Heaven. No more than that!

Verse 41:

Chapter 20, verse 41-43: “And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son? And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

He’s now quoting the Old Testament, a book which they claimed to believe. And He says David wrote Psalms, something many so-called scholars shamefully deny. “David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD [uppercase] said unto my Lord [lowercase], Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Psalm 110, of course! And I showed it to you last time. Here, the living Word of God is quoting the written word of God.

Verse 44:

Chapter 20, verse 44: “David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?”

David, of course, as the king of Israel, would not have called his son “Lord.” His son would have called him “Lord,” but he would never have called his son “Lord.” And once again, this points back to the deity of Christ.

Verse 45:

Chapter 20, verse 45-47: “Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.”

The scribes who wore long robes and liked long prayers are the priests of today, of course. And they are going to receive the greater damnation.

So, how many times do you need to be reminded? The Lord condemned organised religion, and He came to fulfil the law. From this day forth, all Bible-believing Christians are priests in the eyes of the Lord. And synagogues for today would be churches, and the “chief rooms at feasts” would be all the many feasts in the Roman Catholic Church.

Nothing new under the sun! And those widows in verse 47 are praying their priests to assist in the escape of their loved ones from purgatory. They pay and they pray for their priests to intercede between Heaven and earth. They believe their priests have the ability to bring Christ down from Heaven, called transubstantiation. It’s a blasphemy! It’s a farce! It’s a mockery!

He hung on the cross once. He died for the sins of the world once. He said, “It is finished” and it was finished. And these scribes are going to receive the greater damnation. And as far as I’m concerned, this is in reference to the Church of Rome to this present day.

Next up, Luke chapter 21:

Okay, well, before I go to Luke chapter 21, I want to spend a few moments looking at Jeremiah.

And this has been an unscripted Bible study for the past several weeks. Most of it has been pre-recorded; some of it has been done live. And I want to try and squeeze a few verses in.

I’ve said over the last several weeks that the main problem with the Jews believing the Lord was that it was foretold in the Old Testament that they would not believe on Him. And this goes back pretty much to the Exodus, when they left Egypt and went off into Israel. A mixed multitude left Egypt, which is a type of the world, which is also a picture of the Church –the wheat and the tares living side-by-side– and this problem went on for generation after generation. Most of the Israelites did not believe in their kings, their prophets. And of course, it was ultimately demonstrated in the New Testament.

So, a few verses to try and squeeze in today, if I may. First of all, Jeremiah chapter 4, verse 10: “Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.”

The Lord didn’t deceive anyone per se, but what He did do is take their sin and use it against them, which is going to happen in the Great Tribulation, 2 Thessalonians (chapter 2): He will send strong delusion on those that refuse to believe the truth, being Jesus Christ, of course.

And here, Jeremiah understands this perfectly well how the Lord is going to deal with a group of unbelieving Israelites and deceive them. But deceive them because they are already deceived. They already wanted to be deceived!

It’s like Pharaoh. He raised up Pharaoh to destroy him, but through foreknowledge, through the Lord’s understanding of everything from the beginning to the end, from eternity past, from eternity future, He used Pharaoh’s free will to deceive him. Pharaoh was always going to be an idol worshipper, a pagan, and the Lord simply used his sinfulness, if you will, against him.

Jeremiah chapter 5, verse 21: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?”

Oh foolish people, who hath bewitched you? Sounds like Galatians chapter 3 (verse 1), doesn’t it? “Will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree?”

Won’t you tremble at my presence, won’t you understand my holiness? You don’t have understanding, “which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” The Gospel has made this very clear, that they could see the Lord physically, that they could hear the Lord physically, but they could not perceive His message. They failed to grasp the enormity of who He was.

Verse 23: “But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.” “This people” in reference to the Israelites. Are a stiff-necked people! They are rebellious, and they have a revolting heart. It goes right back to the beginning of their history. Moses went up to the mount to get the Ten Commandments, and there was almost an orgy down below. Aaron was guilty of that. He built them golden calves, and the Lord said to Moses, look what’s happening in the camp. Moses goes down, and with righteous anger destroys the plates.

“This people hath a revolting and rebellious heart.” 500 B.C. fulfilled in the time of the Lord Jesus Christ, and still very much applicable to this day! And this is one of the main reasons why the people of Israel are still in unbelief to this present day. This is why so many Jews are in unbelief concerning the Person of Lord Jesus Christ.

If they could not believe their prophets (and for the most part they did not), if they would not obey their kings (and for most part they did not), why are we surprised if they would not believe and receive the Jewish Messiah?

Verse 25: “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.” Almost pictures the Pharisees, Caiaphas, Ananias, the high priests, laying snares to catch the people, to keep the people in bondage to organised religion!

Verse 27: “As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.” “Birds” pictures unclean spirits, and I’ve read the arguments over the past few broadcasts of how this unclean spirit has infested the people of Israel. Religious Israel! The land is one thing. Religious Israel is something else altogether!

“They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.” One law for them, another for the people.

“Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” Yes, and it happened in 70 A.D. “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” The prophets and the priests were in bondage to sin.

In John chapter 8, they find a woman caught in the act of adultery, and they bring her to the Lord. They’re about to stone her, but where was her partner in crime? Maybe her partner in crime was a Pharisee, a priest.

Jeremiah chapter 7, verse 16: “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” This generation was going to go into captivity for 70 years, and most would not come out of this captivity. This generation were reserved for judgment, through their own free will! Nothing to do with the decree of the Lord! It was never His plan for His people to go into bondage or captivity for 70 long years.

But one good thing came out of this long period of captivity: they no longer worshipped false idols, statues. By the time the Lord Jesus Christ arrived, all statue-making and all idol worship was put away. But it took hundreds of years to get to this point of holiness.

Verse 25: “Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.”

Every day, He raised up prophets to go to the people of Israel, which almost pictures the apostles being raised up to go to the people of Israel. “Yet they hearkened not unto me.” They inclined their ear, they hardened their neck, they did worse than their fathers. This pictures a continual generational problem of unbelief.

The Lord said, when He comes back, will He find faith on the earth? And the answer, of course, was very little.

Chapter 5, one more time, verse 21: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” 500 B.C. covering very much the period of Jeremiah, fulfilled in the time of the Lord Jesus Christ, and still very much in reference to this present day.

Most of Israel are still in unbelief. Most of the so-called Christian church are in apostasy. Yes, they have eyes to see. Yes, they have ears to hear. But for the most part, they don’t fear the Lord. They don’t tremble at His presence, from verse 22.

And in verse 23, His final thought and feeling concerning His people: “But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.”

In John 6:66, many of the Lord’s disciples turn around and walk with Him no more. They started with Him, but they did not finish with Him. They too had a revolting and a rebellious heart. They wanted Him to bring in the literal Kingdom of God, without having to die on the cross for the sins of the world. And that’s not how this was ever going to work. He had to come to die for the sins of the world first of all, and then come back for the people of Israel, to rule and reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years.

But, due to unbelief, due to this problem of almost being cursed, through their own free will, of course, He delayed His return as the Son of David. And in the meantime, the Church was initiated.

This is why Paul was brought in –Acts chapter 9– to initiate the Church. Pre-Acts chapter 9, the Jews were very much in Jerusalem and Israel, going to the temple every day and meeting in synagogues. But the Lord’s will was always to bring in the Church, to extend out the Kingdom of God.

In John 10, the Lord said how He had other sheep that were not yet of His flock, in reference to the Gentiles, in reference to the soon-to-be Church, the “called-out people.” And of course, the Church is not a building. A church or the Church consists of all born-again Bible-believing Christians.

One last time, Jeremiah 5:21: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.” Unbelief started right back in Exodus and continued right on until the end of the New Covenant. And the Gospels, of course, continue from the Old Testament.

They “have eyes, and see not.” They “have ears, and hear not.” And, therefore, He says, let them be. This wicked and unbelieving generation can remain as they are, but He will pick out people from that generation to do great things for Him. Simeon, Anna, the apostles and the seventy. And those people believed on Him, those people followed Him, and all but one died for their faith in Him.

CHAPTER 21

Chapter 21, verses 1-4: “And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”

It’s possible this woman gave the Lord everything, without exception, that she had and went off and died. But more likely, she gave all that she was able to give on that particular occasion, while the others around her gave only the bare minimum.

They were very wealthy, and yet they gave the bare minimum. She had nothing, and yet she gave far more than they could ever give the Lord.

Verse 5:

Chapter 21, verses 5-6: “And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

While some of His disciples were praising this magnificent temple, He made it very clear that the days were coming when not one stone would be left upon another, in reference to 70 A.D., of course. And this also pictures a switch away from buildings to worshipping God in truth and in spirit.

He would also say where two or three meet in His name, He is there in the midst of such individuals. And yet, sadly and regrettably, many church institutions to this present day still insist on meeting in literal buildings, but He said the Lord did not dwell in temples made with hands. He dwells in the hearts of all those which have been born again.

Verse 7:

Chapter 21, verse 7: “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?”

The Jews seek after a sign, and the Jews are entitled to a sign. But the Church lives by faith: “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

At this point in the time of Israel, this temple meant the world to the Israelites. It was the centre of the world, as far as they were concerned. So, for their Master, their travelling Rabbi, to tell them that no one stone will be left upon another was shocking, was monumental news!

And for the Pharisees, scribes and lawyers, it meant a loss of income and it meant the end of an era. In fact, this poor widow casting in two mites no doubt helped with the upkeep of the temple, but the Lord of the temple was right there in their very presence.

Verse 8:

Chapter 21, verse 8: “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”

Many false messiahs were raised up pre-70 A.D. Many false messiahs are going to be raised up during the Great Tribulation, and many false messiahs are in the world to this present day.

And He warns them: don’t be deceived, because it’s possible for everyone to be temporarily deceived and to follow deceivers. And even the apostle Peter temporarily was deceived and fell from grace, Galatians chapter 2.

But He says here, one more time: “for many [not some, but “for many”] shall come in my name, saying I am Christ [meaning Messiah].”

The Jews are still awaiting their Messiah, and the Muslims are still awaiting the twelfth imam, and for Bible-believing Christians, we know that the Antichrist’s arrival is soon. He will come, and he will deceive many. In fact, I’ll say this: the Jews will believe on him, the Antichrist; the Muslims will believe on him, the Antichrist, as will the Catholics and so-called Protestants in the world today. They will all think he is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Jews, of course, will think of him as the Messiah, and the Muslims will think of him as the twelfth imam, but he is, of course, the Antichrist, and he will deceive many. And many will follow him and go to Hell when they die.

Verse 9:

Chapter 21, verse 9: “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.”

The rumours of wars and commotions are nothing new. And “The fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25), but “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10a). He promised us He would never leave us nor forsake us.

So, don’t be terrified when you hear of wars and commotions, because for the most part, these things come and they go. And I’ll say this also, if I may: Satan is the god of this world. And yes, the powers that be are ordained of God, but Satan is behind all of the world governments. And every so often, he likes to rev them up. He loves to create a catastrophe, a crisis. And people go into crisis mode. And because we live in a fallen world, people at times fail to grasp just why there is so much suffering and sin and war and famine and persecution in this world.

But it’s temporary. The day is coming when the Lord is going to create a new Heaven and a new Earth. Today’s world is temporary. The New Jerusalem is eternal.

Verse 10:

Chapter 21, verses 10-11: “Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”

The latter part hasn’t yet occurred: “great signs… from heaven”, but the rest of these verses has been occurring for two thousand-plus years. “Nation shall rise against nation”: First World War, Second World War, Vietnam, Iraq 1, Iraq 2, so on and so forth. “And kingdom against kingdom” pictures very much a divided nation: race riots, inequality, so on and so forth.

“And great earthquakes [from verse 11] in divers places” is very interesting, because the UK is now experiencing earthquakes. Not great earthquakes, but small, minor earthquakes nevertheless, picturing perhaps a greater earthquake during the Great Tribulation.

Famines and pestilences are nothing new, but as we near the return of Christ, the value of money is going to decrease, and food is going to be far more expensive to purchase. This is God’s judgment on a sinful world. You turn from Him, and He turns from you.

Verse 12:

Chapter 21, verse 12: “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.”

It happened to Paul in Acts of the Apostles. It happened to Peter and John in Acts of the Apostles.

To follow Him caused the early church much suffering, pain and even death, and around the world to this present day, people are suffering terribly for believing on Him.

Verse 13:

Chapter 21, verse 13: “And it shall turn to you for a testimony.”

Paul stood in the presence of royalty, and he witnessed to pagans, to superstitious kings. Always be ready, therefore, to give a testimony of your faith, what you believe, and why you believe it.

Verse 14:

Chapter 21, verses 14-16: “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”

Stephen was able to silence his critics, as was Apollos. But here, He is speaking to His Jewish disciples, not the Church in general. Because of His warnings from verse 8 to verse 15, He’s almost giving those that perhaps might be fainthearted a second chance to re-evaluate following Him, because suffering, persecution and even betrayal would await many (not just some) but many of His followers.

Verse 16:

Chapter 21, verse 16: “And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.”

Don’t kill me, kill them. They’re Christians, I am not. I want to live; they’re happy to die. These brethren were sold out by family and friends and associates. Even their own parents betrayed them!

Chapter 21, verse 17: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.”

How many popes are hated for the name’s sake of the Lord Jesus? How many Archbishops of Canterbury are hated for His name’s sake? How many televangelists are hated for His name’s sake?

Are you hated for His name’s sake? Do your friends and family cross the street when they see you giving out tracts or when they hear you preaching on a street corner? Are you hated by your brethren for following the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you despised by your friends and associates for being a Bible-believing Christian? If you’re not, something is wrong. And, yes, these verses are primarily aimed at the Jews. Acts of the Apostles makes it very clear to us. And, yes, these verses are aimed at the Jews in the Great Tribulation.

But for those of us living today in the Church age, these verses have spiritual application to us as well. So don’t take these verses and spiritualise them away. They are still very much applicable to us living today in the Church age.

Chapter 21, verse 18: “But there shall not an hair of your head perish.”

In reference to your salvation, not your physical life. When you believed on Him, all of your past, present and future sins were forgiven, regardless of any works. So, when He says here “not an hair of your head will perish”, He is referring to your eternal security, no more than that.

Verse 19:

Chapter 21, verse 19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

Stand firm, hang in there, possess your souls. Don’t panic, and remain calm.

Verse 20:

Chapter 21, verse 20: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”

“Armies” plural gives the impression of something much greater than what occurred in 70 A.D. when the Roman army (singular) surrounded Jerusalem. But here, this army is plural, picturing nations (plural) coming against Jerusalem before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth to save Jerusalem, of course.

But this verse also has application to 70 A.D. In chapter 19, verse 43, the Lord told us: “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around, and keep thee in on every side.”

The Romans systematically built embankments around the city and they gradually starved the city’s inhabitants over a period of several months. Titus gave the order to surround Jerusalem, to cut off all their supplies and resulting in thousands of people being trapped around the temple.

The Lord told the Jews to get your house in order. He gave them 40 years to do this. But when judgment fell, for the most part, these people were not expecting it. When the Lord comes back at the end of the Great Tribulation to judge all the earth, most people are not going ready for His return. And judgment will fall on them very harshly and very severely and very quickly, too.

But my scripture from Luke 21:20, in reference to the “desolation thereof” being nigh was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when Titus surrounded the temple and built and erected large wooden scaffolds around the walls of the temple buildings. And then he piled them high and set them alight, resulting in the stones crumbling and many people, of course, being sacrificed by this pagan infidel, a type of the Antichrist.

But remember the Jews told the Lord how they had no king but Caesar, and here Caesar arrived and gave them what they wanted. So, these verses furthermore underscore the Lord’s words to examine yourself to be sure that you really want to follow Him, because pain and suffering and death awaited those that would follow Him.

All of the apostles but one were put to death for believing on Him. So, nobody can say the Lord did not warn us. He did, time after time. To follow Him will cost you something. And for those that truly believe on Him, they will be hated by all men for His name’s sake, without exception.

Verse 21:

Chapter 21, verses 21-24: “Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

You can’t miss it: “synagogues” in verse 12, “Jerusalem” in verse 20, “Judaea” in verse 21. The Jewish Messiah, once again, is speaking to the Jewish people. In 70 A.D. yes, and the Great Tribulation as well, and this reference from verse 21, and “let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto” almost suggests some of the many pilgrims that travel to Israel every day of the year.

We’d do well to avoid being in Jerusalem during this point in time, because they too will get caught up in this drama and in this almost-like Holocaust, but the warning is given time after time: let those “which are in Judaea flee to the mountains [get out, run, hide] and let them which are in the midst of it depart out [get out as quickly as you can]; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto,” picturing, as I say, pilgrims doing well to avoid Jerusalem at this point in time. 70 A.D. perhaps? But during the Great Tribulation more likely “for these be the days of vengeance.” “Vengeance is mine… saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). And here, His vengeance is going to fall hard on the people of Israel.

In verse 23, He laments those that have children in those days because they are going to suffer, they are going to be starved, and their parents are going to end up eating their own children to survive Titus’ siege, which went on for several months, I might add. And also to escape at a moment’s notice will be troublesome if you have children in tow.

In verse 24, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword.” Some will die and shall be led away captive into all nations, to become slaves in the Roman Empire, of course, “and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

And Jerusalem to this present day is still very much a divided city: one half run by Israel, the other half run by the Gentiles. And all this is judgment from the Lord God of the Bible to the people of Israel, prophesized back in Jeremiah 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Verse 25:

Chapter 21, verses 25-26: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

In verse 26, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear,” in reference to mass cardiac arrests, known as heart attacks, of course.

Revelation says that suicide will flee from individuals, but these men are going to die of heart attacks due to fear. Fear bringeth a snare (Proverbs 29:25), but “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10a).

In verse 25, signs in the sun, and in the moon and in the stars, not what you saw in Fatima, which was a satanic deception and counterfeit! These are real legitimate signs of the return of the Son of man from Heaven to Earth.

Verse 27:

Chapter 21, verse 27: “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Almost like the Shekinah glory. The Son of man here, of course, is Jesus Christ, and He comes back on a cloud, not a literal cloud, I don’t believe, but a type of a cloud covering his Holiness, shielding Him from the sin all around Him on the Earth and within mankind’s DNA.

And here, the Lord has been glorified. So, to stand in His presence would mean the loss of your life. Hence, why He comes on a cloud, which pictures, one more time, the Shekinah glory, with power (meaning authority) and great glory (meaning His Majesty).

Verse 28:

Chapter 21, verse 28: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

In reference to the Tribulation saints! They have endured until the end and their redemption has now come for them. And that term, from Matthew 24, to “endure unto the end” (verse 13) means to endure or to overcome the deception of the Antichrist, something which He warned against so vividly in verse 8.

Verse 29:

Chapter 21, verse 29-31: “And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

Now, He goes back to parables, underscoring the fact that perhaps some of His disciples were still in unbelief. The last parable He gave us was found in chapter 20 concerning the vineyard, which was taken from the Jews and given to the Church, of course.

But this parable is exclusively for Israel, and the kingdom of God is tied in with a person’s salvation, meaning a) he is now saved and b) he is about to enter into the physical kingdom of God, with the Son of David ruling and reigning from Jerusalem. This is way beyond 70 A.D. This is very much still to occur, and this is why I am a futurist, not a preterist.

Verse 32:

Chapter 21, verse 32: “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.”

This generation living at the time of the Lord’s return, not this generation standing in the presence of the Lord in 30 A.D.

Verse 33:

Chapter 21, verse 33: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

His words are eternal, like Himself. Heaven and earth will one day pass away, but His words will never pass away. His words are eternal. He inspired the word of God, and He has preserved the word of God, found, I believe, in the King James Bible.

Verse 34:

Chapter 21, verses 34-36: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Verse 34 down to verse 36 is a warning to all Bible-believing Christians of all generations to be ready at a moment’s notice for the Lord’s return and above all that you are going to be worthy to stand in His presence when He comes back for you, either in the rapture or at the end of the Great Tribulation, depending, of course, as to what generation you live in.

But verse 36 is explicitly in reference to Tribulation saints: “Watch ye [plural] therefore, and pray always, that ye [plural] may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” in reference to the Great Tribulation.

And you were promised in Revelation chapter 3 not to go through the Great Tribulation. But the key to these verses, I believe, is found in verse 34 “take heed to yourselves…” that your hearts don’t “be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life.”

Don’t get caught up in the things of this life, because that day will come upon you as a thief in the night. You won’t expect it because you’ll be too busy worrying about the cares of this life.

And some people have suggested this term “to be overcharged with surfeiting” implies a cashless society, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Credit card only, debit card only! And most people use their credit cards or their debit cards to buy everyday activities. So, this piece of scripture could be a prophecy about the last days.

And I’ll say this also: to take cash out of society and to force people to use credit cards feeds in to the problem of taking the mark of the beast during the Great Tribulation. With a credit card, the governments around the world can track your every move, but with cash, they cannot. So, these verses very much demonstrate that the Bible is supernatural in origin, not human.

Verse 37:

Chapter 21, verse 37: “And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.”

He was available and accessible to everyday people. In the daytime, He preached in the temple and at night, He went out and even prayed throughout the night, if necessary. He did nothing in secret, and He most certainly was not a man on the run or in fear of His life.

Verse 38:

Chapter 21, verse 38: “And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.”

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Mohammed never said that. Buddha never said that. Joseph Smith never said that. Charles Taze Russell never said that. Ron Hubbard never said that. But the Lord Jesus Christ said it because He meant it, and He had the authority from Heaven to do so.

So, what a great verse to conclude Luke 21! The living, eternal Word of God in the temple each and every day teaching the people, and nobody dared lay a hand on Him, because His time had not yet come.

And also from verse 35, the whole earth is going to experience the Great Tribulation. Not just parts of the earth, but the whole earth without exception. Much like we saw when Noah’s flood came on the whole earth. The whole earth, without exception, experienced the Great Flood. And the same is going to happen during the Great Tribulation, but this time, fire will come on the earth, not water.

And one final thought from Luke 21: yes, the Lord was speaking primarily about 70 A.D. but also about the third temple which is going to be built during the Great Tribulation. And what happened in 70 A.D. is going to happen again to the Jews in the third temple during the Great Tribulation.

So, His warning from verse 36 to watch and pray that you “may be accounted worthy to escape all these things” must be understood in reference a) to your salvation and b) to escape the Great Tribulation. He wants you to be saved now, not during the Great Tribulation. For the scripture saith, “behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

So, don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today because the Great Tribulation is man’s last chance to be saved. So, for those saved today in the Church age, these verses are not for us. These verses are for Tribulation saints, those people that go into the Great Tribulation and get saved during the Great Tribulation.

CHAPTER 22

Chapter 22, verse 1: “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.”

The Lord Jesus Christ kept all of the Jewish feasts to the letter and to the spirit. He was a Jew of the Jew, and He came to fulfil the law. The apostles were all Jewish, and they too kept the Jewish feast days, along with the Jewish Sabbath.

But for the Church, for those of us living today, the feast days and the Sabbath are irrelevant for us. For Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest.

And this Passover is not only going to be the Lord’s final Passover, but He is going to be the Passover Himself. Substitutionary atonement! When you sin against God, only God Himself can forgive you. That’s why Jesus Christ has to be God.

Verse 2:

Chapter 22, verse 2: “And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.”

“The fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25), but “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10a). And these chief priests and scribes feared man, not God. And this conspiracy has reached its final conclusion. They’re going to kill Him, the sinless Lamb of God, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.

But the time has to be just perfect for them to pull this off. They couldn’t do it themselves because they were under Roman occupation, so they wanted the Romans to do it for them. And yet they killed Stephen, a fellow Jew, by stoning him to death.

Verse 3:

Chapter 22, verse 3: “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.”

In John 6, Judas is called a devil. He wasn’t born a devil, but he became a devil through his own free will, of course. And this piece of Scripture does not prove that Christians can be demon-possessed by Satan or unclean spirits. You can be oppressed but not possessed.

Verse 4:

Chapter 22, verse 4: “And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.”

He was a schemer right from the beginning: “mine own familiar friend” (Psalms 41:9) hath betrayed me, prophesized back in the Old Testament by King David, a type of Christ, and fulfilled here in 30 A.D. concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.

But he won’t do it on his own. He wants money from the chief priests. He wants their blessing, so-called.

Verse 5:

Chapter 22, verse 5: “And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.”

They were glad. They had waited for over three years for this day to arrive. They feared the people, in verse 2, and one of their own had stepped forward to betray the sinless Son of God. This is conspiracy with a capital “C”.

Verse 6:

Chapter 22, verse 6: “And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.”

You have my word; I am going to betray Him. I hate Him just as much as you do. What a tragedy! What a despicable thought to go through the mind of a man who spent 3 1/2 years with the sinless Son of God, the Lamb of God, the substitutionary atonement. What went wrong in the life of Judas Iscariot for it to come to this?

Verse 7:

Chapter 22, verse 7: “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.”

Within seven verses, the term “kill” and “killed” along with “betrayed” has occurred in chapter 22 of the Gospel of Luke. “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). An individual cannot kill someone else. The State can, but an individual cannot.

And of course, behind Judas was Satan, who was in Cain, the first murderer, who was in the serpent, the first deceiver, who caused Eve to fall, who caused Abel to lose his life.

And here, he has entered into Judas Iscariot. He has totally taken over Judas Iscariot, who was now totally demon-possessed or devil-possessed, and it should be said that Satan has been around for a very long time. And he hates God with perfection. He wants to be like the most High, Isaiah chapter 14, but he knows at the same time that his time is limited. So he does what he can each and every day to get men to turn away from the Lord God of the Bible.

He pushes atheism, evolution and all the false religions of the world. He is behind everything that God is against and everything that God is for, he is against, along with his minions and many false ministers, so-called Christian preachers, vicars, priests, bishops, popes. He’s behind every one of them, and he will do whatever it takes to stop mankind going to Heaven when he dies.

Verse 8:

Chapter 22, verse 8: “And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.”

He sent Peter and John, not pope Peter on his own, but Peter and John. The apostles were nearly always sent out in twos. There was no one leader in the early church, but Peter could have been the oldest. And Peter was most certainly the weakest, and John was certainly the youngest; hence, why he also spent so much time with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 9:

Chapter 22, verses 9-13: “And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.”

This once again demonstrated how the Lord had people all over Israel, chosen for service not salvation. And the apostles had no idea who these people even were.

Verse 14:

Chapter 22, verses 14-16: “And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

He was present at the Passover, but He was not going to eat any of the food that was set before Him, because He was going to be the Passover Himself.

Verse 17:

Chapter 22, verses 17-18: “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.”

This is a cup, not a chalice, and it’s fruit, not wine.

Verse 19:

Chapter 22, verse 19: “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

This is bread, not a wafer. And you were told to do it in remembrance of Him, not in order to receive everlasting life.

Verse 20:

Chapter 22, verses 20-21: “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.”

A table, not an altar! So, within just a few verses, the mass has been nullified and proven to be a fable and a blasphemy, and totally worthless and unnecessary for people to partake in. But in case you missed it, a cup was found in verse 17, fruit of the vine in verse 18, bread in verse 19 and a table in verse 21.

Verse 22:

Chapter 22, verse 22: “And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!”

The burden now falls on the betrayer, being Judas Iscariot. Yes, it was foretold in the Old Testament that Judas will betray the Lord Jesus, but Judas is still going to be held accountable for his very sin of high treason and murder.

Verse 23:

Chapter 22, verse 23: “And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.”

No infallibility, here. They didn’t have a clue as to who the Lord Jesus Christ was speaking about.

Judas came under the radar, and for the most part, they had no idea what he was about to do to their Master and Lord, which underscores once again how the Lord Jesus Christ did not brief even His closest members among His disciples as to who was going to betray Him.

Peter wasn’t told, John was not told, and Mary, the so-called “Queen of Heaven,” was not told, either. They all enquired among themselves, “which of them it was that should do this thing.” A betrayer was in the camp, and for the most part, they had no idea what was about to occur.

And this also shows us how false brethren will always be within, not without. Your enemies are going to be within the Church, not outside of the Church.

But from the soul search in verse 23, we discover the following in verse 24:

Chapter 22, verse 24: “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.”

Within one verse, they’ve gone from soul-searching to now arguing which of them should be the greatest in the Kingdom. They were still very much juvenile, still very much children in the eyes of the Lord.

And this is why He spoke to them on many occasions in parables, because they were still unable to decipher the true meaning of the words of the Lord on so many different occasions. They were not ready for the meat of Scripture or the meat from the Master.

Verse 25:

Chapter 22, verses 25-26: “And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”

Peter was the oldest; John was the youngest. Perhaps He’s speaking to these individuals.

Verse 27:

Chapter 22, verse 27: “For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.”

He came to serve, not to be served. He denied Himself to perfection, picturing, of course, the son of Joseph, the suffering Saviour. But at the Second Coming, He comes back to be served as a son of David, the King of Israel, the King and Lord and Master and Governor and Emperor of the world.

Verse 28:

Chapter 22, verse 28: “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.”

His trials, His tests, His ongoing agony: “Ye [all of you] are they which have continued with me in my temptations,” right up until the very end. But all of the apostles but one forsook Him when He hung on the cross, being John, of course.

And with these verses, He’s wanting to reach out to His children as the everlasting Father and bring them closer to Him. It’s going to get much harder before it gets any easier, and it’s going to get much worse for them before it gets any better.

But take these verses, and the keywords would be humility, self-sacrifice, denial and to show deeper love for the brethren.

Verse 29:

Chapter 22, verses 29-30: “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Their kingdom, as the early leaders of the Church, was spiritual and physical, and the physical kingdom is going to result in them judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And verse 30, one more time, “to eat and drink at his table,” not His altar.

But before He elevates His apostles up to the place of judges and great princes in His kingdom, look at verse 31:

Chapter 22, verses 31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

We’re not surprised to find Satan wanting to sift Simon as wheat. He destroyed Cain, he deceived Eve. His ministry, his whole existence post his fall, is to destroy those that are the closest to the Lord.

But Jesus, as the High priest and everlasting Father of the Church, has prayed for Simon to be faithful, to overcome, and when he has been converted (meaning he has turned from his failure of denying the Lord three times), how he is going to strengthen the brethren. Because Peter was the oldest.

And I’ll say this, if I may, if you are born again and you follow the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan is very interested in what you do. So, you have to stay close to the Lord Jesus Christ, read the word of God each and every day and have a strong prayer life.

Otherwise, Satan will get a foothold in your life. He can’t possess you, but he can oppress you. He can afflict you with sickness, illness and many emotional problems. So, be careful how you live for the Lord once you’ve been born again.

Verse 33:

Chapter 22, verse 33: “And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.”

He probably thought he was, but the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak. He says, “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death,” but the heart of man is “desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Man is very complex. Whether he’s saved or not, it makes no difference. The heart of man is desperately wicked. Peter was deceived. Peter was weak, but he meant well. But he was weak and he was deceived, and the Lord Jesus Christ saw straight through Peter’s problem and inability to be with Him when He needed him the most.

Verse 34:

Chapter 22, verses 34-35: “And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”

They were totally equipped supernaturally via the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Did you lack anything, and they said nothing. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) and He did not, but they forsook Him.

People like to tell me on the streets how God loves them, but I ask them, “Do you love Him?” and the answer, of course, is “no,” for the most part anyway.

And verse 35 proves to me that the cross reference to this, found in Matthew chapter 10 verses 17 onwards, was not fulfilled in the life of the apostles, but will be fulfilled during the Great Tribulation. And if you get time, please read Matthew chapter 10, verses 17 down to 39, and there you will see these verses are still futuristic. They haven’t yet occurred!

And I’ll say this also, if I may, in reference to Satan indwelling Judas, who pictures an unbelieving Israelite from his generation, and we saw that so very clearly from Luke 19 verse 42, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” You won’t believe on me? Fine! From this day forth, these things are hid from thine eyes, and tragically this is why Judas Iscariot was unable to see the Lord Jesus Christ foretold back in Jeremiah and Isaiah, and here being fulfilled in the presence of the apostles and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 36:

Chapter 22, verse 36: “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

They’re going to travel far and wide for the Lord Jesus Christ. They’re going to come across wild beasts, perhaps, and they will need to protect themselves from such animals. He’s not telling them to go out and buy weapons to start a revolution. Far from it! His Kingdom is not yet of this world, and you were told to submit to the powers that be.

Verse 37:

Chapter 22, verses 37-38: “For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.”

That’s enough of that. That’s enough talk! Go and get your two swords. This is not a call to arms, one more time. This is a call to protect yourself from the wild beasts that are all around Israel at this time in the Lord’s ministry.

Verse 39:

Chapter 22, verse 39: “And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.”

His life is ticking away, and yet in verse 37, He quotes the Old Testament, how he was “reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.”

And now it’s time to head off to the Mount of Olives.

Verse 40:

Chapter 22, verse 40: “And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”

“The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

Romans chapter 7 and Philippians chapter 3 makes it so very clear how even saved people battle the flesh each and every day. So, the Lord’s warning here to His little flock is not surprising.

Verse 41:

Chapter 22, verses 41-42: “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

This is true submission to perfection. “Not my will, but thine, be done.” And as the Son of Man, He called on His Father to take this cup from Him, picturing judgment, but as the Son of God, He submitted to His Father’s will in Heaven to come and die for the sins of the world. No Jesus, no salvation! No salvation, no forgiveness of sins! There’s no other way under Heaven whereby men must be forgiven outside of Jesus Christ.

Verse 43:

Chapter 22, verse 43: “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”

Go down and assist my beloved Son. It could be Gabriel, it could be Michael, but go down and assist my beloved Son.

Verse 44:

Chapter 22, verses 44-46: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.”

The agony was taking its toll on them, as well. They loved the Lord right up until the very end, but the stress and sleep deprivation was too much for them. But verse 44 tells us how the Lord sweated blood. The agony and the pain and the anguish must have been overwhelming for Him. A man who had never sinned was hours away from becoming sin. Personification of sin! No wonder He was sweating blood. Every evil thought, word and deed was about to be laid on His account.

And verse 46: Why do you sleep? Rise up and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. He wanted them to pray with Him, but they were so weak! They wanted to. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” but they simply could not stay awake with Him.

Verse 47:

Chapter 22, verse 47: “And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.”

The kiss of death! Judas the betrayer, the Judas goat.

Verse 48:

Chapter 22, verse 48: “But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?”

He’s almost given Judas the chance to change his mind, to repent and turn back to Him. But it’s too late for that. Judas was a devil. Judas was given up many years ago, and he too is hours away from death.

Verse 49:

Chapter 22, verse 49: “When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?”

The Old Testament prophets killed on many occasions, so the apostles were thinking about doing the same thing in honour of their Lord and Master, but they’re still very much in the flesh. The Son of Man has “come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He did not come to destroy people’s lives. He came to save people and enrich their lives by becoming their Saviour and introducing them to His Father to become their God.

Verse 50:

Chapter 22, verse 50: “And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.”

Being Peter, of course!

Verse 51:

Chapter 22, verse 51: “And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.”

No faith needed here to be healed! The Lord healed his ear, regardless of any faith on behalf of the recipient.

And Peter, no doubt, was trying to kill the servant of the high priest, but he missed his head and went for his right ear, and the Lord Jesus Christ, as a travelling Physician, stepped in and healed him straight away, regardless of any faith, because the Son of man has “come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Verse 52:

Chapter 22, verses 52-53: “Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

I was with you every day, and not once did you lay hands on Me. But now, you’ve come out to get me like a common criminal. What cowards they truly were!

And just in case you missed it, from verse 53: “this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Satan was behind this middle-of-the-night arrest, this farce, this debacle. The powers of darkness have arrived. “You are of your father the devil.”

But He’s not going fight. He’s going to submit to them. That’s why He was born in the first place. He came to die for the sins of the world. Elizabeth foretold of His birth. Simeon foretold of His death. One picturing the end of the Old Covenant, and the other picturing the birth of the New Covenant!

Verse 54:

Chapter 22, verses 54-60: “Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.”

Within 60 minutes, he has denied the Lord Jesus Christ, not once, not twice, but three times. The pain must have gripped him from within. He knew he was in the wrong, but he was scared, and nor did he want to die at this point, and in the midst of being betrayed.

Look at verse 61:

Chapter 22, verses 61-62: “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”

This is true remorse and sorrow and repentance, unlike Judas. Just picture this for a moment: Peter has publicly denied the Lord Jesus Christ three times in the presence of unsaved people, and the last time he does this, the Lord turns and sees Peter. The shame, the grief, the dread must have overwhelmed Peter, and he departs (very quickly no doubt) and weeps bitterly. He cries like a baby.

Verse 63:

Chapter 22, verses 63-65: “And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.”

If you’re the Son of God, tell us which one of us is smiting you, is spitting on your face, is pulling your beard. The ridicule and the shame must have broken God the Father’s heart in heaven, but Satan no doubt was laughing his head off. But, of course, the Lord was behind all of this. He knew from the beginning how this was going to go, right down to the letter.

And before I get to verse 66, please appreciate how the Lord Jesus Christ has been held, physically and verbally abused all night by pagan infidels, some Jewish and some seem to be Gentile. And not once does He raise a hand to strike them down, which He could have done, but again He came “to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Please take a look at verse 66:

Chapter 22, verses 66-69: “And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.”

You’ve already made your minds up that I’m guilty, so why should I answer your questions when you won’t answer my questions? This was a kangaroo court, and that term “council” found very clearly in verse 66 pictures once again something which was wholly satanic through and through.

And if you don’t believe me, go online and look up the word “council” (the Council of Trent, for example), and see what those good old gentleman did and affirmed to those that refused to follow the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church: excommunication and death, of course.

And this council was no different, but in verse 69, He gives them a warning how the Son of man will sit on the right hand of the power of God, Psalm 110, dealing with His enemies. And they would have known exactly what He meant by quoting Psalm 110: deity first of all, judgment secondly!

Verse 70:

Chapter 22, verse 70: “Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.”

John chapter 6 “I am,” and they all fell backwards. Exodus chapter 3 “I am,” and Moses fell on his face. But in verse 70 they are judging Him for saying He was the Son of God. But He won’t tell them He’s the Messiah, in verse 67, because they won’t believe on Him. Too much light for unbelieving people means more judgment on them. Don’t cast your pearls before swine.

Verse 71:

Chapter 22, verse 71: “And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.”

What did He say? Absolutely nothing! But it was enough to convict Him to death, the death of a common criminal. But He was without sin. It was them who were in sin, and it was them that deserved to die for the sin of high treason.

Luke chapter 23.

CHAPTER 23

Chapter 23, verse 1: “And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.”

One minute a great multitude is following the Lord Jesus Christ all over Israel, and the next thing this multitude is about to hand Him, a son of Israel, over to Pilate, a Gentile leader, a superstitious individual.

If this is not high treason, I don’t what is.

Verse 2:

Chapter 23, verse 2: “And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.”

What liars they were! He made it very clear to render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s (Luke 20:25). But, of course, He was a king. He’s the King of Israel, but His kingdom is not yet of this world.

So, He was never any threat to Pilate or Caesar in Rome or the Roman leaders in Jerusalem. But, of course, these people were enemies of God. This fellow perverts the nation. What a terrible thing to say concerning the sinless Son of God, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar.

The Lord Jesus was no Che Guevara. He didn’t come for revolution; He came for redemption. And this term “fellow” is a very modern word, which demonstrates once again the uniqueness of the King James Bible.

Verse 3:

Chapter 23, verse 3: “And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.”

You said it, buddy! I am the King of the Jews. He grudgingly responded to the questions of the Pharisees, and now He’s being interrogated by a Gentile, who says to Him, “Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.” You said it! I am that I am. And it’s just possible that the Lord wanted Pilate to be saved as well.

Verse 4:

Chapter 23, verse 4: “Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.”

Could that be true of you, if you were to stand in the presence of God? Could He say, “I find no fault in this man or this woman?” I somehow doubt it! He’s more like to say where do I start? Your sins are very many. And if I were to do what is right, if I would to do you justice, you would go to Hell forever. But if I give you mercy, thanks to my beloved Son, you won’t go to Hell when you die, but you will go to Heaven.

But Pilate, the experienced inquisitor, makes it very clear how he found no fault in this Man. He couldn’t say that about Mohammed marrying a six-year-old girl, or Buddha forsaking his family, or Joseph Smith being a polygamist, or Charles Taze Russell lying under oath in a court in America.

But he could say it concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. He was without sin from the very beginning. “I find no fault in this man.” And of course, this pictures the Great White Throne Judgment where the Lord is going to judge every word, thought and deed. Whatever you’ve done, He has seen it. He knows it, and one day He will ask you to give an account of yourself to Him.

Verse 5:

Chapter 23, verse 5: “And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

He’s this great troublemaker, stirring up the people all over this place, beginning from here to Galilee. What liars they were!

He told you to submit to the authority, and He made it clear time after time how He was not ready or willing at this point in time to be made the King of the Jews. Second Coming, yes! First Coming, no! But these people did not know their own Bible. These people were enemies of God. Religious, yes! Regenerated, no!

Verse 6:

Chapter 23, verse 6: “When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.”

He wants to pass the Lord Jesus Christ over to Herod. He’s been up all night in anguish and torment due to the fact that the Lord would not allow him to sleep, and his wife had a dream and she too warned him not to interrogate this man, Christ Jesus.

But these individuals have come to him to present the Lord Jesus Christ to be condemned. So, what could he do? He’s a politician walking a fine line, serving Rome and trying to appease the Jewish leaders. You cannot serve two masters! And here, Pilate is about to take the greatest decision of his whole life.

Verse 7:

Chapter 23, verse 7: “And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.”

That word ‘jurisdiction’ is a very modern word, normally concerning a police force. Are we in our jurisdiction or not? But here, Pilate is desperate to get rid of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And due to the sovereignty of the Lord God of the Bible, Herod was in Jerusalem at this very time.

And I’ll say this before we move on to verse 8. For Pilate, this was the nearest he would ever get to Heaven, standing in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And how tragic for him!

He probably thought he was a good man. He worshipped many gods, and in John’s gospel, it makes it very clear how Pilate was fearful when he learned that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Son of God.

But salvation and heaven for Pilate was as remote as it could possibly be. He’s standing in the presence of the Creator of the universe, and he says, “What is truth?” and the Lord Jesus Christ says, “I am truth” and Pilate totally discarded those words from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please take a look at verse 8:

Chapter 23, verse 8: “And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.”

The Lord Jesus Christ was not some cheap magician! And, so, how tragic that Herod was only interested in seeing Him do a miracle to entertain him. And for Herod too, this was the closest that he would ever get to experiencing, to tasting, to understanding what Heaven is all about. But like his friend Pilate, salvation would evade him as well.

Verse 9:

Chapter 23, verse 9: “Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.”

Unlike Pilate and the Pharisees, the Lord Jesus Christ is not going to answer this man even one word. Perhaps it was because he murdered his second cousin, John the Baptist. But Herod was very desirous to interrogate the Lord Jesus Christ. He put many questions to Him, and the Lord responded with silence.

And for Herod, a man used to getting his own way, he must have been incredulous. He must have been furious. All the yes men around him, going right back to Matthew chapter 2 (not him, but his father of course), yes sir, yes sir, three bags full, sir. Whatever you say sir.

But the Lord Jesus Christ refused to answer his questions. And they say silence is golden, and on this occasion it certainly was.

Verse 10:

Chapter 23, verse 10: “And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.”

These vipers were never far away. No doubt Satan had indwelt Herod and Pilate for many years, but these chief priests and scribes were probably infested with unclean spirits as well. To say this environment would have been intense would be a huge understatement!

Verse 11:

Chapter 23, verse 11: “And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.”

You won’t answer my questions. So, to Pilate He must go. But before He goes, let’s dress Him in a gorgeous robe. He claims to be a king. Let’s give him a robe, and Pilate put the crown of thorns on His head to give Him a crown. What a despicable pair these two truly were!

Verse 12:

Chapter 23, verse 12: “And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.”

Through the fall of the Lord Jesus Christ, these two individuals have become friends. Enemies united through the fall of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I’ll say this also: Pilate and Herod picture the Antichrist and the false prophet coming together to destroy the earth, to bring in their kingdom and to further enslave mankind to sin and bondage.

Verse 13:

Chapter 23, verses 13-16: “And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him.”

Meaning He’s going to scourge Him, a very painful way of torture. And this is the second time that he has declared the innocence of the Lord Jesus Christ, found very clearly in verse 14. “I have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof you accuse him.”

He’s totally innocent. I had hoped that Herod would find fault in Him and Herod would chastise Him and release Him back into the community.

But Herod could get no response from Him, so back to Pilate He must go.

Verse 17:

Chapter 23, verses 17-19: “(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)”

Let “his blood be on us, and on our children” (Matthew 27:25), and it was and it continues to this present day.

Barabbas was a murderer, and Barabbas means “son of the father”, rather interestingly, and they wanted him to be set free instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. Incredible! And yet Christ came to die for the sins of the world. You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good!

Verse 20:

Chapter 23, verses 20-21: “Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.”

Pilate’s a typical politician. He’s weak, and yet at the same time he needs the support of the people. He wants to release the Lord Jesus Christ, but he cannot seem to lose face. But the people cried out, Crucify Him, Crucify Him. What had He done unto them? Nothing! But they hated Him without a cause, foretold back in the Old Testament.

And it’s my belief if Jesus Christ came back tomorrow and went back to Israel, it would happen all over again. Crucify Him, crucify Him.

Verse 22:

Chapter 23, verse 22: “And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.”

To be fair to Pilate, he wanted to release Jesus. He knew that the Lord Jesus Christ was totally innocent, but he was a weak politician. Three times he affirms his innocence, but the people are baying for blood. And this demonstrates just how depraved the hearts of unsaved people truly are, not to mention how alienated Israel was from the Lord God of the Bible.

And for the second time, Pilate has offered to chastise Jesus, meaning to scourge Him. An awful, painful way to torture an individual, especially someone who was innocent.

But take a look at verse 23:

Chapter 23, verse 23: “And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.”

This incessant call to crucify Him is so bizarre. It’s almost a paradox. He’s come to die for the sins of the world, and these people that He’s going to die for are calling for Him to be crucified. It’s so bizarre!

And yet at the same time, it fits perfectly in the mind of the Lord God of the Bible.

Verse 24:

Chapter 23, verse 24: “And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.”

He signed on the dotted line, as it were. He’s now given in to this group of thugs, this mob calling for the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. His precious, innocent blood!

And of course, you know who’s behind this? Satan, of course!

Verse 25:

Chapter 23, verses 25-26: “And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.”

Could it be that Barabbas had friends in high places? Could it be that Barabbas, as a murderer, as somebody guilty of sedition had friends in the temple, in the Sanhedrin? Could it be this zealot had people looking out for him? Why else would this crowd be in such an uproar to have him released instead of the Lord Jesus Christ?

But what we can say for sure is that organised religion, time after time, was found wanting. Time after time, organised religion was at enmity between God and His Son.

And here in verse 26, Simon has been compelled to carry the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s been whipped and beaten and interrogated all night long. He is exhausted. He started to sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. And this man Simon was compelled to pick up His cross and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ to Calvary, where He is going to be crucified with two common thieves. One thief will be saved; the other will be damned.

Verse 27:

Chapter 23, verse 27-28: “And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.”

Don’t cry for me, cry for yourselves. I know what I’m doing, and I know where I’m going. But you people don’t know what you’re doing, and you people don’t know where you’re going when you die.

Verse 29:

Chapter 23, verses 29-31: “For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”

In verse 29, the days are coming when people are going to say blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bear. Why? Because in 70 A.D., the Jews are going to be circled in Jerusalem and they are going to be starved to death. And those women that were barren will be considered to be lucky, fortunate, blessed not to have any children to look after because many of their counterparts are going to eat their children to survive the siege and to survive starvation.

And verse 30 has a twofold meaning: “Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.” 70 A.D. and the Great Tribulation. And we know that in the Great Tribulation how the wealthy are going to be hiding in caves and underground bunkers, trying to escape the punishment that the whole world will experience before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In verse 31, He speaks in a parable, picturing judgment again on the people of Israel.

Verse 32:

Chapter 23, verses 32-33: “And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.”

Two common criminals on either side of the sinless Son of God!

Verse 34:

Chapter 23, verse 34: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

The Gentiles had no idea what they were doing; that much is true! But the Jews quite possibly did. And yet saying that, I will say this: that both parties were clearly dead in their sins. So, it’s quite possible that both individual groups were oblivious as to the enormity of such an event.

He’s praying for them. He’s interceding for them. “Father, forgive them [Jews and Gentiles]; for they [both groups] know not what they do.” But He came to die for their sins!

And on top of that, they’ve parted His raiment and cast lots, foretold back in the Old Testament, of course.

But Jesus, in verse 34, is nailed naked to His Roman cross, and He finds the strength to pray this intercessory prayer to His Father in heaven on behalf of the Jews and the Gentiles.

But look at verse 35 please:

Chapter 23, verse 35: “And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.”

Talk about contempt! Total contempt! He’s prayed for them in verse 34, and in verse 35 they are blaspheming Him, and on top of that they even affirm how He saved others.

There was never any question as to the miracles that Jesus Christ did. Pilate knew it. Herod knew it. The Jewish leaders knew it, and the people knew it as well. And they go on to say, “if he be Christ [the Messiah], the chosen of God”, let him save himself.” Sheer and utter contempt!

Verse 36:

Chapter 23, verses 36-37: “And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.”

You would expect it to come from them, just ordinary, everyday, working-class soldiers, totally oblivious to the Jewish Old Testament or even to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But they did it because of their superiors, and they did it because of the Jewish leaders, and they did it because of the crowd. The hostility must have been contagious!

And I just wonder if some of these Roman soldiers present at the foot of His cross were the same ones found and baptised in Luke chapter 3, but due to peer pressure they have fallen away. Like the apostles, they have forsaken Him, and instead of wanting to assist Him, they offer Him vinegar, and say, “If thou be the King of the Jews, save thyself.”

If Peter could fall, could not these Romans fall as well, if they were the same ones found in Luke chapter 3? So, if you have denied Jesus since you were born again, confess your sins to Him, and Luke chapter 15 tells us that God the Father will run to be reconciled to you. Confess your sins, and He will forgive you. Call on His name, and He will save you.

Verse 38:

Chapter 23, verse 38: “And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Take Matthew, Mark and John’s accounts, and the whole text reads: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” And Pilate did this to spite the Jewish leaders, because Pilate was infuriated that he had been forced to crucify an innocent man. So putting it in three languages, it was impossible for anyone to miss it.

Look at verse 39:

Chapter 23, verse 39: “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”

More mockery and more contempt! And this pictures, one more time, man’s enmity with his Creator. Mankind hates God. Mankind does not seek after God. But praise God for those of us that are saved! “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Verse 40:

Chapter 23, verse 40: “But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?”

One thief saw his sin and need of a Saviour. The other thief loved his sin and saw no need for a Saviour. “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou are in art in the same condemnation”?

Don’t you fear God? Can’t you see that we are in the same condemnation? But this unbelieving malefactor pictures unbelieving Israel, affected by this unclean spirit.

Verse 41:

Chapter 23, verse 41: “And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.”

Pilate affirmed His innocence, and this believing malefactor on the cross has echoed it. “This man hath done nothing amiss.”

Verse 42:

Chapter 23, verse 42: “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

Could it be this malefactor had seen the Lord Jesus Christ? Perhaps he was healed by the Lord Jesus Christ, before his past caught up with him. “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

Look at verse 43, please:

Chapter 23, verse 43: “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

The man simply believed on the Saviour of the world, and he was saved! Today, not tomorrow, not next week, but today “shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” And Paradise, at this point in time, was in the ground, Abraham’s bosom. But Paradise today is above you, in Heaven.

So the thief, quite simply, pictures sinners being saved the same way, by believing on the Saviour of the world. “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” [Romans 10:13]. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” [Acts 16:31] and my favourite scripture, one more time, “The just shall live by faith.”

And also please appreciate that the Lord Jesus Christ has been on the cross for six hours, but Luke’s account is an abridged summary of His time on the cross.

And if you take the time to read the other gospel accounts of the Lord on the cross, you will discover how both malefactors started off in unbelief, but one turned to the Lord in faith and was saved. The other remained in unbelief and went to Hell an unbeliever. He went into the ground (the saved malefactor) with the Lord, and the Lord took him and all the other righteous dead back to glory with Him, known today as the third heaven.

But the unbelieving malefactor went into the ground, and he is still there to this present day, with the rich man found in Luke chapter 16, and those individuals will remain until the Great White Throne Judgment. So, the unsaved go into the ground and stay there in torment, but the saved go to be with the Lord upon death. Absent from the body, present with the Lord! (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Verse 44:

Chapter 23, verse 44: “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.”

This darkness was seen in Italy, hundreds of miles away. And this darkness pictures judgment from the Lord. Darkness pictures evil. Darkness pictures sin, and darkness pictures total abandonment from the Lord God of the Bible. Hellfire forever in outer darkness.

Verse 45:

Chapter 23, verse 45: “And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.”

To rip the veil in the temple meant the end of the temple system. The priesthood was now redundant. The Lord’s switch from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, from the Jews to the Church, has now commenced.

Verse 46:

Chapter 23, verse 46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

And no doubt, He spoke in Aramaic, a language He would have known as a child. “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” He was body, soul and spirit. He was very man and very God. “And having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” He died, of course, but not for Himself. For the sins of the world! The whole world without exception!

Verse 47:

Chapter 23, verse 47: “Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.”

And Mark’s account has been telling us that He was the Son of God, two different accounts of the same event. So, put these two verses together: “Certainly this was a righteous man” dot, dot, dot, dot. The shock has settled. “Truly, this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).

And this centurion, just a handful of verses earlier, was casting lots for His raiment. And tradition has it this centurion got saved as a result of witnessing the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This man was righteous, this man was the Son of God, very God and very man.

Verse 48:

Chapter 23, verse 48: “And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.”

What more did these people want in order to believe on the Son of God? The answer: nothing, of course. They had hearts of stone. They were dead from the neck up.

Verse 49:

Chapter 23, verse 49: “And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.”

They wanted to be with Him, but they too were fearful of being arrested and put to death, perhaps. So, they stood afar off, waiting for the dust to settle. And you know what? He did not love them any less!

Yes, He wanted them to be with Him at His hour of need, but He understood that man is weak. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” and this pictures how we are saved by what He did for us, not what we do for Him. “The just shall live by faith”.

Salvation is a free gift. We fail each and every day, but praise be to God, He doesn’t.

Verse 50:

Chapter 23, verses 50-51: “And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.”

Like Simeon, like Elizabeth, he too was a faithful, believing Jew, waiting for the Kingdom of God, the literal Davidic kingdom with King Jesus as the King in Jerusalem.

Verse 52:

Chapter 23, verse 52: “This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.”

That took great courage to do. Joseph’s peers and fellow Pharisees and leaders in the Sanhedrin would have known that he went to Pilate to beg for the body of Jesus. What a remarkable man he was! And Joseph’s boldness and bravery has paid off. He now has the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please look at verse 53:

Chapter 23, verse 53: “And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.”

I’ve lost count of the amounts of prophecies which have been fulfilled in Luke chapter 23. And now, the body of the Lord Jesus is going to be buried in Joseph’s sepulchre, a brand-new and expensive sepulchre.

He had nowhere to lay His head (Luke 9:58), but for the bravery of Joseph, he has reserved some dignity for the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 54:

Chapter 23, verse 54: “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.”

It’s business as usual for the Jews.

Verse 55:

Chapter 23, verse 55: “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”

They are still keeping the Sabbath! The Lord of the Sabbath had just died on the cross, and they are still keeping the Sabbath. But, bit by bit, the Lord is going to grow them. He will take them from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant. It won’t happen overnight (Rome was not built in a day), but it will happen!

The switch from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant has commenced!

Okay, well, for today’s broadcast, what I want to do, before we get to Luke 24, is just have a quick recap over the last several broadcasts, looking at the Gospel of Luke and some of the other gospels, to see what we can ascertain from the word of God. Luke chapter 1 was started in verse 1 and 2 with Dr Luke telling us how other people had taken the time to write down the events, as they understood them to be.

It could be Matthew, it could be Mark, it could be John, and it could also be the Pauline epistles. It’s quite possible that other writers around this time of the 1st century sat down to write what they understood the Lord Jesus Christ to be all about. But those accounts were not inspired.

Verse 20 from chapter 1: Zacharias was punished as a priest because he should have known better. He was much older than Mary was, and that’s why he was chastised by the angel Gabriel.

Chapter 2 verse 33: Mary appears surprised by Simeon’s words. No suggestion of her infallibility! And as I have said in previous broadcasts, she was about 12 to 15 years of age when she was called to give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapter 2 verse 48: she was bewildered by the words of the young Jesus, found there again in verse 50. She was young. She was growing in grace, so we shouldn’t be surprised that she was at times surprised by the enormity of the Lord Jesus.

Chapter 2 verse 51: Jesus was a good child, but Mary’s still not sure about Him. She’s still trying to grasp the enormity of the God-man, or in this sense, the God-child.

Chapter 3 verse 16: John makes it very clear that there are two baptisms, and Jesus’ is superior. Jesus, of course, pictures you the Holy Spirit; John puts you into water. Also interesting is that the angel Gabriel went to Mary and Zacharias, but the angel of the Lord went to Joseph, and the angel of the Lord is the Holy Spirit.

Chapter 7 verse 41 to 42: all sins are forgiven. No reference to baptism or confirmation or church attendance or anything. By faith alone, the lady found in chapter 7 was saved. She was saved before she went in to wash the feet of the Lord Jesus, but her faith demonstrated works. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26); works without faith is dead too. And that pictures justification in the eyes of the Lord –Romans chapter 4– and justification in the sight of man –James chapter 2–.

Also, a quick footnote: John’s baptism only prepared people for Jesus (see Acts 19:1-5) but when Jesus appeared, His baptism was a one-off, Ephesians 4:4. So, John was really preparing people for the arrival of the Messiah, water picturing water and the spirit picturing the Spirit.

Chapter 11 verse 27: Unless the God of God reveals the Godhead to mankind, nobody could or would ever know God. And we know from other pieces of Scripture how the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost, and He’s drawn all men unto Him –John chapter 6–.

Chapter 12 verse 50: Those that do the will of God are His family. See John 6:27: to do the will of the Lord is to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of God.

Also of interest: the Jews with their tradition totally nullify the word of God, which is a picture of the Catholics and the Protestants as well, not to mention the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And these references, I should have said, from 11:27 and 12:50, are from Matthew’s gospel, but they are found in Luke’s gospel as well.

Mark is Peter’s scribe, and yet he doesn’t mention Peter being given the keys from Jesus. One concludes, apart from Matthew’s account, that this wasn’t as important as Rome states today, and Luke’s account of the keys being given to Peter are omitted.

A crucified Messiah to the Jews was a stumbling block, see Micah 3:3 and Psalm 27:2.

And the term “to eat my flesh and drink my blood” always refers to doing serious harm to the individual, never cannibalism. And we find what happens in Revelation 19:18, when the Lord comes back: that the false disciples are going to be destroyed, and they will eat the flesh of God’s enemies. And the term rapture, is rapturous, from the Latin Vulgate. I mentioned letterism or figurative language over the last few broadcasts, and the Lord does speak many times in parables to people, and in John chapter 2 verse 19, the Jews misunderstood His speaking to them about the temple being His body. They totally misunderstood what He was referring to, and He doesn’t correct them, in line with Jeremiah 5:21.

The woman at the well also misunderstood Jesus speaking about water. She thought He meant literal water, and of course He meant spiritual water. He does not correct her, but she goes on to get saved, and other people.

The first people in the New Testament to recognise who Jesus was were Mary His mother in Luke 1:38, Elizabeth in Luke 1:43, Joseph in Matthew 1:20-21, the shepherds in Luke 2:15-20, the wise men in Matthew 2:1-12, Simeon in Luke 2:25-33 and Anna in Luke 2:36-38. Seven people (God’s perfect number) affirmed His deity.

John the Baptist is the first person to recognise Him when He has come of age, John 1:29 and 34, then Andrew in John 1:40-41. Peter’s brought to Jesus Christ by his brother and given a new name, John 1:42. However, Philip and Nathanael affirm His messianic status long before Matthew 16, and also James and John in Mark 1:19.

Seven people witnessed Jesus’ Messiahship. And seven, again, is God’s perfect number.

Peter, along with James and John, is given a new name, Mark 3:17. And I personally believe that Paul, after his trip to the third heaven (see 2 Corinthians 12) was also given a new name by Jesus.

If you read Acts 9:11-25, the term “Saul” is mentioned every time, up until chapter 13 verse 9, when Paul is cited for the first time. Saul is not used by Paul again.

Finally, on the new name, see Revelation 2:17, where the Lord gives all saints a new name, once they overcome the world, and to overcome the world is to believe that Jesus is the Christ, see 1 John chapter 5. Throughout the gospels, some or all of the apostles belief that Jesus is Lord and Master and Messiah are clearly highlighted in Matthew 14:33. All twelve affirm He is the Son of God. All apostles are told death awaits Him, not just Peter. The apostles affirm Jesus is the Stone and the Rock, and Peter echoes this in Acts 4:11.

The Second Coming is so important, it’s given to all of the apostles, not just Peter. Peter’s denial is reported more times than his confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, making it more important to the writers of Scripture.

Martha, before Peter, publicly affirms He is the Son of God.

Jesus, from Isaiah chapter 9, is called the eternal Father, not God the Father, but eternal Father in relationship to His people.

In Mark chapter 10, He calls His apostles “children”.

So, those notes were only very briefly covering the last 10-plus hours of the Gospel of Luke. When I get to chapter 24, I’ll spend more time going through that last chapter, but those notes, I think, do strengthen our understanding of Luke’s gospel. And of course, Luke was a medical doctor, hence why he focuses on the birth of Christ in such detail.

Most of Luke’s material is unique compared to Matthew and Mark. Although Matthew, Mark and Luke are the synoptic gospels, Luke and John offer much new material not found in Matthew or Mark.

Also throughout Luke’s gospel we find the Lord as a Jewish Messiah speaking to the Jewish people under the Jewish law. Three dispensations found in the New Testament. Matthew 19 is the law, Acts 2 is the inter-testimonial period, and Romans 10 is the grace, the mystery gospel, given to the apostle Paul, of course.

CHAPTER 24

Chapter 24, verse 1: “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.”

The first day of the week is Sunday. The Lord’s Day is Sunday, not Saturday.

And so, this verse initiates the switch from the Old Covenant – keeping the Jewish Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown – to the Lord’s Day, Sunday, commemorating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And these women are found also in verses 55 and 56 of the previous chapter, and among these women is Mary Magdalene, the first person to see the risen Christ. And that was done, I believe, to remove the stigma going back to the fall of Eve, for she fell first and then through her fall, Adam fell.

Verse 2:

Chapter 24, verse 2: “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.”

That was to allow the apostles entrance, not to allow the Lord Jesus Christ to exit.

Verse 3:

Chapter 24, verse 3: “And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”

Had they found the body of the Lord Jesus, Christianity would have died there and then. He has risen. He has gone back to Heaven, as He told them many times that He would do. And yes, He resurrected Himself, from John chapter 2. The Father resurrected Him, from Galatians chapter 1. And the Holy Spirit resurrected Him, from Romans chapter 8.

A clear picture of the tri-unity of God working together in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 4:

Chapter 24, verses 4-5: “And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?”

He is the God of the living, not of the dead.

So, don’t pray to dead people. Pray to the living Saviour of the world!

And I say that because many Roman Catholics and high Anglicans pray to dead people, to intercede for them. And God detests it. His word makes it very clear that nothing is too difficult for Him. He made the earth out of nothing, and He sustains it day by day all by Himself.

So, if you have a problem, never mind praying to a dead person or dead priest or dead pope. Pray to the God of the living, the one true God of Israel.

Verse 6:

Chapter 24, verses 6-7: “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

Time after time, He told them what awaited Him. Mohammed could not do this. Buddha could not do this. The popes of Rome could not prophesy how they would die, but the Lord Jesus Christ did on many occasions.

Verse 8:

Chapter 24, verses 8-9: “And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.”

The rest would have been the seventy, of course.

And it’s fascinating from verse 8, how they remembered His words. No doubt, swallowed up by grief and stress and anguish, they fell from grace in the sense of being swallowed up by the painful crucifixion of their Saviour and Master, the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

And of course, He knew this would happen. He knows what sins His children are going to commit, even before they commit them, and He loves you nevertheless.

But He expects you to repent and turn back to Him once you have fallen from grace, to be restored, like you saw so clearly in Luke chapter 15: God the Father running to the repentant sinner, His child.

And it’s fascinating also, from verse 9, how these women have been told that He (Jesus) has risen from the dead, and they run back to tell the apostles the great news that the Son of man had been resurrected from the dead. And some people say, why would He do this? Why would He choose women to proclaim His resurrection, for women in the 1st century were almost treated subservient to men.

But He did so, I believe, to reverse the stigma that women had long suffered since the fall of Eve. The daughters of Eve had suffered for centuries, due to her fall and subsequent fall of her husband.

So, this was a very bold thing for the Lord Jesus Christ to do. And yet saying that, He did not choose these women to be His apostles. He could have done, but he chose not to.

Verse 10:

Chapter 24, verse 10: “It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”

Mary the mother of James is the mother of John as well: the sons of Zebedee, the sons of thunder. And these women were chosen and given the great privilege to tell the apostles how the Lord Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead.

Look at verse 11:

Chapter 24, verse 11: “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.”

That’s why He spoke so many times in parables, because the heart of man is desperately wicked. And on top of that, this is why the women were chosen to reveal His resurrection.

When women were raised up in the Bible for service, it’s normally done as a sign of apostasy. And if God cannot find faithful men, He chooses faithful women to shame unfaithful men.

And here, on this occasion, His apostles have failed once again. They have failed to believe that He has overcome death and tasted death for every man. But while some believed not, look at verse 12:

Chapter 24, verse 12: “Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

John ran with Peter to the tomb. John arrived first, but John was the youngest and, therefore, out of respect for Peter (who was the oldest), he allows Peter to enter into the tomb first of all, and he discovers the linen clothes laid by themselves, wrapped up and left very neatly together, picturing God being the God of order, not of disorder.

Had Jesus been snatched in the night, these clothes would have been discarded and left in a mess. But this verse makes it very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ left the tomb of His own accord.

And also verse 12 is Peter’s comeback. Peter’s trying to reverse the guilt and the shame and the sadness that he must have felt, no doubt, due to denying the Lord Jesus Christ three times.

And how interesting it is that God the Holy Spirit had the four writers of the gospels write and affirm and present very clearly Peter’s denial of the Lord Jesus Christ, but his confession of faith, found in Matthew chapter 16, is only found in Matthew chapter 16: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” Those words are only found once in the New Testament, but Peter’s denial is found many times in the four gospels, making it very clear that Peter was not infallible, and at the same time, the Lord could and did use Peter’s fall to restore him, to bring him back to full strength and glory for the name’s sake of the Lord Jesus Christ, of course.

Verse 13:

Chapter 24, verse 13: “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.”

Two of them here are, no doubt, part of the seventy, found in Matthew chapter 10 and Luke chapter 10. And it’s quite possible, due to grief and being distraught and totally lost, these two individuals needed space. And no doubt, these two are found in verse 11, not believing the words of the women found in verse 10.

I will say this as well: these individuals did love the Lord Jesus Christ. They gave up everything to follow Him. So, the torment and torture that they must have been going through was enormous, and for some it was too much, hence why they must have needed their own time and space away from their grief, found very clearly at the foot of the bloody cross of the Saviour of the world.

Verse 14:

Chapter 24, verses 14-15: “And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.”

I will never leave you, nor forsake you. They turned away from Him but He went to seek and to save that which was lost.

These two individuals were His sheep. He is their Shepherd, and so according to Luke chapter 15, off the Shepherd goes in search of His sheep.

Please look at verse 16:

Chapter 24, verse 16: “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.”

And in Mark 16, He appears to the apostles in another form. Why? Because they were still in unbelief, and these individuals were His people, but they fell through unbelief. They lost the simplicity of Christ due to a crisis of faith. But instead of discarding them, He goes to them as their everlasting Father, the great Shepherd, the good Shepherd, the eternal Shepherd. And now, He wants to get to the core of the problem.

Look at verse 17:

Chapter 24, verse 17: “And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”

He knew, of course, what the problem was. But He wanted them to tell Him. Go back to Genesis. God says to Adam, “Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:9). He knew, of course, where he was, but he wanted Adam to turn back to Him and confess his sins to Him. And here, the Lord wants the same from two of His seventy disciples.

Verse 18:

Chapter 24, verse 18: “And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?”

Cleopas, one of the seventy, is shocked that Jesus had no idea what had occurred. He’s totally unaware that the King of the universe is walking with him and his associate. And this goes back to verse 16: “their eyes were holden that they should not know him”, because of unbelief, because of failure to believe the words of the women that went to them with the wonderful news that He had been raised from the dead.

And the Lord is going to continue to probe a little deeper into the hearts of Cleopas and his associate.

Look at verse 19:

Chapter 24, verses 19-20: “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.”

At this point in time, they considered Jesus to be a mighty prophet and no more than that, much like the Muslims do to this day. But that won’t save you! You have to believe on His deity. You have to believe that He is the Son of God, who is equal to God as well.

So, these verses very clearly demonstrate their lack of understanding as to whom the Lord Jesus Christ truly was. A prophet, yes! The Son of God? They weren’t sure. Equal with God? They could not tell you. They really did not know the enormity of who Jesus Christ was, but they clearly go on to affirm His crucifixion, found in verse 20, which Islam to this present day denies. In fact, they say if you believe on His crucifixion, you are condemned. But the word of God tells me: if you don’t believe on this, you are already condemned.

Look at the pain and frustration building up in verse 21:

Chapter 24, verse 21: “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.”

They’re still thinking of a literal Davidic kingdom at this point in time, but we know, as Bible-believing Christians, this occurs at the Second Coming, not the First Coming. They wanted the throne of Israel without the crown of Israel.

He had to come to die for the sins, first of all, of the world, and depending on who believed on Him: had it been the Jews, pre-Acts chapter 7, He would have come back to initiate His Davidic kingdom. But due to the rejection of the Jews (found in Acts chapter 7), He goes to the Gentiles which become the Church: His people for here and now.

So, the Church, which is made up of all Bible-believing Christians, is the Body of Christ for here and now. We are His people for here and now.

And for Cleopas and his associate, they don’t yet understand this. So, the Lord Jesus Christ, over the next few verses, is going to give them a Bible study. The eternal living Word of God is going to use the written word of God to explain this to them.

But first of all, look at verse 22, please:

Chapter 24, verses 22-23: “Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.”

How remarkable that Cleopas is even telling the Lord about the account of the women going to them with great news of the risen Christ. And I think it’s quite possible that Cleopas and his associate wanted to believe that He had been raised from the dead, but could not believe due to unbelief, due to a hindrance of some kind.

And this is why the word of God tells you time after time to humble yourself, to become like little children, in order to receive the Kingdom of God.

Verse 24:

Chapter 24, verse 24: “And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.”

Referring to Peter and John! And nothing in this text suggests that Peter was this great leader found in the early church. They don’t even name Peter and John: “but him they saw not.” And now the Lord gets to the heart of the matter.

Verse 25:

Chapter 24, verses 25-26: “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”

He calls them fools for not believing all of the words of the prophets, from the Old Testament, of course! Every word of God is God-breathed. And He makes this so very clear.

And yet, Bible-believing Christians are laughed at for believing every word from Scripture. But we are in good company, according to verse 25, for the living Word of God affirms that they would have done well to have believed every word that the prophets have spoken concerning Him, Christ Jesus, of course.

And I’ll say this: if Jesus Christ does not know what the word of God is, nobody knows what the word of God is.

So, verse 25, one more time: “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”

That was the whole purpose of the Old Testament, pointing to the coming Messiah and His death for the sins of the world. Take His suffering and death out of the equation, and all you have are works, works and more works. And your works are filthy rags! You cannot work your way into Heaven. You need Christ’s righteousness to allow you entrance into Heaven.

Verse 27:

Chapter 24, verse 27: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

What a statement to make! All of the Scriptures are about Himself. Period!

Who else could say that? Nobody, of course.

Take a look at verse 28, please:

Chapter 24, verse 28: “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.”

It’s quite possible that Cleopas and his associate are brothers, blood brothers, and they are going back to their village to console themselves. They too had given up everything to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and the grief and enormity of losing Him was so much for them that they just wanted to go home and rest and perhaps fast and wait on the Lord for answers.

But how wonderful is our Saviour! He has gone to them to bring them back to Him.

And the latter part of verse 28 is fascinating: “and he made as though he would have gone further.” He wanted them to bring Him into their home to dine with them, and this pictures the Lord’s intimacy with His children.

He wants to be in your life. He wants to be a part of every aspect of your life. But, of course, He is a gentleman. You have to bring Him into your lives. You have to invite Him into your world, and you do so by believing on Him and trusting in Him to save you.

Verse 29:

Chapter 24, verse 29: “But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.”

What a great piece of Scripture! “They constrained him, saying, Abide with us [stay with us, please]: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”

The day is almost over and He (Jesus) went in to tarry with them. For them, this is a picture of reconciliation, and for unsaved people, redemption with a capital “R”.

Verse 30:

Chapter 24, verse 30: “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.”

Bread, not a wafer! And no chalice, no cup, no wine, no fruit of the vine is found here. Just bread and bread alone! And these verses demonstrate once again how the Roman Catholic mass is totally unscriptural.

Verse 31:

Chapter 24, verse 31: “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”

At this point in time, He has decided to reveal Himself to them. At some point over the past few verses, He saw their hearts and He saw their willingness to believe on Him, to receive the truth of the risen Messiah.

And these verses picture, of course, communion, the Lord’s Supper. And yet the living Bread of Life has only dined with them for a period of time, and the Bread of Life has only had bread with them.

So, this is a very limited picture of communion, a very limited picture of the Lord’s Supper. And on top of initiating the Lord’s Supper, He vanishes out of their sight, in a flash, like lightning, which pictures the rapture of all born-again Bible believing Christians. For you too will vanish out of sight of all unsaved individuals. One moment you’ll be there; the next moment you’ll be gone.

Look at verse 32, please:

Chapter 24, verse 32: “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

Their hearts were desperate for the word of God, and the Word of God came to them and expounded to them the word of God.

Unless you have faith in the Lord, He won’t save you. And unless you have faith in the Lord, He will not reveal the word of God to you either. But now Cleopas and his brother, perhaps, are on fire. They want to get back to Jerusalem as quickly as they possibly can and tell the others how they have seen the risen Christ.

And this pictures a great urgency to get the word of God out to lost people each and every day. To be on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ, to have a passion and a compassion for unsaved people and for the saved people, to build up the save, to reach out to the lost and edify the Church, but above all, to be about your Father’s business.

Verse 33:

Chapter 24, verses 33-34: “And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”

It was late, but it made no difference. They got up and within an hour, they were on the road back to Jerusalem.

They would walk on coals of fire, if necessary, to get back to Jerusalem and to speak to the eleven and those that were gathered with them, meaning the seventy, of course. And they go on to say: “the Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon”, further underscoring Peter’s redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation to the Lord.

Verse 35:

Chapter 24, verse 35: “And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.”

What a great transformation! these two individuals have gone from unbelief to being distraught, to perhaps even being in shock, to now running almost back to Jerusalem with news that how He, Jesus, was known of them in the breaking of bread, picturing one more time the soon-to-be Lord’s supper. And the response and reaction from some must have been electric.

Verse 36:

Chapter 24, verses 36-37: “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.”

Which is something that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about the Lord Jesus Christ. They believe He was assumed up into Heaven in a spiritual form, and upon death, He became Michael the Archangel. But that’s not what the next few verses are going to prove.

“They were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.” Some are still in unbelief, and some are still in need of further reassurance from the Saviour of the world.

But His words, from verse 36, “Peace be unto you” are marvellous. Mark them! Underline them in your Bibles. “Peace be unto you.”

Why? Because I have overcome death, and I will give you everlasting life if you believe on me. No judgment here, just reconciliation and forgiveness of sins!

Verse 38:

Chapter 24, verse 38: “And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

Jesus Christ was a man’s man. He was a Jew of the Jews. He was a people’s person. He understood what mankind goes through each and every day, because He was the Son of man. So, it’s priceless and precious when He says to the apostles, “Why are ye [all of you] troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”

He wants to know what the problem is. He loves them like a father loves his children. But they’re still not sure. They still need further reassurance, and Jesus (always the obliging individual) goes the extra mile for them.

Look at verse 39, please:

Chapter 24, verse 39: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Wonderful words! What more could He say to them? A spirit does not have flesh and bones, but I have because I have overcome death and from this day forth, I will always be the God-man.

Verse 40:

Chapter 24, verse 40: “And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.”

Dr Luke, I believe, was one of the seventy. And, I believe he was there at this point in time and yet, being so humble, he excludes himself from the personal pronouns: And when he had spoken to them, he showed them his hands and his feet. He was there, Dr Luke, but he has chosen (I believe) to omit his presence from this tremendous event.

Verse 41:

Chapter 24, verses 41-43: “And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”

His patience was remarkable. They are still wondering who this man is. And He says to them, do you have any food here? And they give Him a fish, and He sits down and eats it before their very eyes, proving that He is human and divine. The God-man, of course!

And if these verses don’t demonstrate the Lord’s love and endurance and patience in going the extra mile for those that He loves, I’m not sure what else does!

But it’s time to move on from dining with His apostles.

Look at verse 44:

Chapter 24, verse 44: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

The law, the prophets and the psalms. Three parts of the Old Testament, and not one mention of the Apocrypha! The law of Moses, prophets and the psalms concerning me. What a statement to make! And I say this, if He was not God, who was He? Who would have the audacity and gall to claim the entire Old Testament was about Him, if He was not God?

Verse 45:

Chapter 24, verses 45-48: “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”

And they were! They started with Him, and they finished with Him! Yes, they buckled toward the end of their time with Him, but He was faithful, nevertheless.

But, once again, He goes back to the Old Testament. He points back to the Jewish Tenach: those writings wrote about me. What a claim to make if it was not true! And He and only He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. They spent years reading the Scriptures, but for the first time in their lives, they are now going to understand the Scriptures.

And He goes on to say in verse 46: “Thus it is written.” Thus saith the Lord. Written word of God! You cannot miss it! God inspired it, and He has preserved it.

“Thus it is written, thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day [foretold back in the Old Testament]: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name [meaning by His authority] among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Because salvation is of the Jews.

He goes to the Jews first of all, and then He goes to the Gentiles.

And verse 48: “And ye are witnesses of these things.” Not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the Jewish apostles. They saw Him, they lived with Him, and many died for Him as well.

And I’ll say this before we get to verse 49: I believe the apostles were saved, pre the crucifixion, but they haven’t yet received the Holy Spirit. For service not salvation!

Verse 49:

Chapter 24, verse 49: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

Back in the Old Testament, kings and prophets received the Holy Spirit for their anointing and for their service to the Lord, but now Jesus Christ is going to give the Holy Spirit to His apostles for service as well.

And also from Acts chapter 2 onwards, all those that believed on the Lord Jesus Christ will also receive the Holy Spirit, to seal them and to empower them for service as well.

But, He tells them to wait in the city of Jerusalem, “until ye be endued with power from on high” in reference, of course, to the day of Pentecost.

“And repentance and remission of sins” found in verse 47 was demonstrated in Acts chapter 2. Repentance means a change of mind. You change from unbelief to belief. You turn from yourself, to the Lord God of the Bible and then by faith, you believe and trust in Jesus Christ who died for your sins on the cross.

Verse 50:

Chapter 24, verses 50-53: “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.”

Carried up into heaven (verse 52) pictures the beggar in Luke chapter 16. He too received an angelic escort to paradise.

In verses 50 and 51, He blesses His apostles before being carried up into Heaven. “And they worshipped him [the apostles], and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.”

And there, they are waiting for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. But four words here make it for me: worshipped, joy, blessing, amen, picturing individuals that truly knew the Lord Jesus Christ, and they loved Him to perfection.

From Acts chapter 2, they would never fail Him again. Would they be perfect? No! Peter fell in Acts 10, and he fell in Galatians chapter 2, but the Lord Jesus Christ completely restored them.

And these men, with the apostle Paul, turned the world upside down!

Also from verse 53, they “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.” There were many rooms in the temple which the apostles may have used to meet, to talk, to pray and to break bread. At this point in time, there are no churches. The Jews are still very much centred around Jerusalem, waiting for the Holy Spirit to come upon them, to fill them and to send them out around the world with the gift of tongues, which were known languages, to reach mankind all over the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.

So chapter 24 started with the women, coming to anoint the body with spices. They believed on Him. They were faithful unto the end.

But the apostles, all but one, failed Him. And yet, by the final verse, the apostles have been forgiven and restored. And they are continually in the temple, praising and blessing God, amen. What a wonderful way for Luke to finish his remarkable gospel!

So, this will conclude my verse-by-verse Bible study, going through the entire Gospel of Luke.

Apart from my brief summary between chapters 23 and 24, everything that I’ve shared with you has been unscripted. I read the verses, and the first thing that comes into my mind is shared with you, the listener.

So thank you for starting with me, and thank you for finishing with me, as well. And I hope and pray that the Lord Jesus Christ blesses this study through Luke and that it’s used for His glory and for the edification of His Church. Thank you and maranatha!